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No Course Change Seen in Wake of Tibetan Rioting : China Will Accelerate Reforms, Premier Says

October 13, 1987|From Reuters

BEIJING — China will pursue and accelerate its policy of opening the nation to the outside world, Premier Zhao Ziyang said in Beijing's first top-level policy statement since anti-Chinese rioting broke out in Tibet this month.

"The 13th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will comprehensively accelerate reforms and the open-door policy," Zhao said in the statement published Monday.

The congress will elect a new leadership "more revolutionary, younger on average, better educated and professionally more competent," Zhao said in the statement, quoted by the party newspaper People's Daily. Zhao made the remarks at Sunday's welcoming banquet for Hungarian leader Janos Kadar.

"His statements are significant but not entirely surprising as China has invested a lot of international prestige in its open-door policy," a Western diplomat commented.

The party congress, the first since 1982, is scheduled to start Oct. 25.

Chinese sources said the party's Central Committee will convene Wednesday to approve the agenda and date for the meeting.

The congress will define basic principles and policies for future economic construction and political restructuring, Zhao said.

His statement, as quoted in the newspaper, made no specific reference to Tibet.

Diplomats said that while economic reforms in Tibet, including tourism, could be set back by the pro-independence demonstrations, China's leadership wants to make it clear that the nation as a whole will continue to steer the same course.

Party hard-liners will, however, have more ammunition after events in Tibet to attack China's move from central control to an economy more directed by market forces, the diplomats added.

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