It's spring in China, and calls for democracy are in bloom, the New York Times reports. Articles are about the need for political reform are being published—even encouraged—and leaders are promising openness. But the outburst of rhetoric has more to do with the political calendar than with an inclination toward change.
Facing the expiration of their 5-year terms this fall, the country's top leaders seek to present themselves as progressive while pursuing the party's goals. Says one retired official: “If the party can define what democracy is, then it will not be as dangerous.”