<HTML><HEAD> <META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML 8.00.6001.19019"></HEAD> <BODY> <H1 class="cN-headingPage articleHeading prepend-5 span-11 last">Provincial boss offers China a liberal route to bolster party relevance </H1> <DIV class="push-0 span-11 last"><!-- cT-storyDetails --> <DIV class="cT-storyDetails cfix"> <H5>John Garnaut </H5><CITE>September 2, 2011</CITE> <!--<ul> --><!-- --></DIV> <DIV id=googleAds class="ad adSpot-textBox"></DIV><BOD> <DIV class=articleBody><!-- cT-imageLandscape --> <DIV class=cT-imageLandscape><IMG alt="Wang Yang" src="ctsipad-art-wide-wang-yang-420x0.jpg"> <P>Wang Yang ... a party reformer in Guangdong. </P></DIV> <P>GUANGZHOU: The leader of China's most populous province is cautiously promoting a more democratic model against the prevailing political winds.</P> <P>The affirmation by the Guangdong party boss, Wang Yang, of a more liberal ''Guangdong model'' goes some way to answering a plea by many intellectuals for an alternative to the state-centric ''Chongqing model'', which has been pushed by that city's party chief, Bo Xilai.</P> <P>Mr Wang juxtaposed his political preferences with those of Mr Bo but played down what is reputed to be a deepening rivalry between the pair ahead of next year's 18th party congress.</P> <P>''There is no competition between the Guangdong model and the Chongqing model,'' Mr Wang told the <I>Herald</I>, after being asked whether his views would prevail. </P> <P>Mr Wang said both models should be seen as part of the larger process of ''exploring''.</P> <P>''There is no contradiction between them,'' he said.</P> <P>Mr Wang's comments to the <I>Herald</I> followed a meeting with the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, in which Mr Wang went out of his way to highlight evidence of President Hu Jintao's reformist aspirations.</P> <P>Last month several of the country's most important intellectuals met in the hills west of Beijing to debate the merits of the Guangdong and Chongqing models.</P> <P>Zhang Musheng, a magazine editor who is closely linked China's ''princeling'' politicians, endorsed Mr Bo's Chongqing model for injecting new relevance into the Communist Party.</P> <P>Li Shengping, an adviser to Hu Deping, the son of China's liberal former party boss, Hu Yaobang, strongly sided with the ''democratic'' traditions of Guangdong.</P> <P>Mr Li said Guangdong province had a distinctively democratic lineage that could be traced from the former leaders Ye Jianying and Xi Zhongxun - the father of China's likely future president, Xi Jinping - to the current party chief, Mr Wang.</P> <P>''To be frank, in the past 10 years it has become more clear that the regime has 'rulers' but no 'governance'. It has almighty rulers but is totally incapable of governing,'' Mr Li said. ''So both [Guangdong and Chongqing] are experiments to find solutions to failed governance.''</P> <P>Mr Wang is seen as a factional ally of Mr Hu. In the past two years he has toned down his relatively liberal rhetoric as more conservative, state-centric policies have prevailed. But in recent months he has spoken out more freely and he claims to be putting some of his ideas into practice.</P> <P>Mr Swan said he had an ''exceptionally good meeting'' with Mr Wang, where they agreed on the need for reforms. He had raised the criminal cases of Australians Matthew Ng and Charlotte Chou and had been satisfied with the response.</P></DIV></BOD></DIV></BODY></HTML>