Letter Reveals Rift in Chinese Establishment

Disaffected party bigwigs blast Beijing for leading country off Marxist path
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2007 8:43 AM CDT
A Chiense police officer stands in front of a giant portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in Beijing Saturday, May 12, 2007. According to the official Xinhua news agency, Beijing...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – China's leaders are "going down an evil road" and betraying Marxist ideals, says an open letter signed by former Communist Party officials and academics. The letter, which calls for restoring party control of China's increasingly capitalist economy, is unusual in that its hard-line authors come from within the party elite, the LA Times reports.

The letter, which appeared last week on a website that has already been shut down, is a blow to Hu Jintao's regime because it points up internal dissent just weeks before the crucial party meetings to be held this fall. Although it's unlikely to have an effect on policy, "the Central Committee is surely not happy," says one expert.