China Leadership Monitor

Rethinking the Role of the CCP: Explicating Jiang Zemin's Party Anniversary Speech

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

After Jiang Zemin delivered his groundbreaking speech on the communist party's anniversary last summer, there was much speculation about the strength of his political position and controversy over the meaning of the speech itself. Close examination of authoritative commentary, however, suggests that the speech has received strong support within the party and represents far more than the general secretary's personal views. Moreover, articles by party theoreticians based at the Central Party School indicate that Jiang's speech was intended to convey a program of wide-ranging political reform, albeit not one of democratization. This program of political reform is intended to meet the domestic and international challenges facing the party and to make the exercise of power in China better institutionalized and more stable.