Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday that China needs not only economic reform but also political structural reform, especially the reform of the leadership system of the Party and the government.
Wen warned at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session that historical tragedies like the Cultural Revolution may happen in China again should the country fail to push forward political reform to uproot problems occurring in the society.
"Now reforms in China have come to a critical stage," Wen said, warning: "without a successful political reform, it's impossible for China to fully institute economic reform and the gains we have made in these areas may be lost, and new problems that popped up in the Chinese society will not be fundamentally resolved, and such historical tragedies as the Cultural Revolution may happen again in China."
He noted although after the crackdown on the Gang of Four, the Party adopted resolutions on many historical matters, and decided to conduct reforms and opening-up, the mistake of the Cultural Revolution and feudalism have yet to be fully eliminated.
"The reform can only go forward and must not stand still, less go backwards because that offers no way out."
Wen said he had addressed the topic of political structural reform in China on many occasions in recent years, giving his views on the topic in full and in details.
He said his long interest in political reforms comes from "a strong sense of responsibility."
As the economy continues to develop, Wen said, such problems as income disparity, lack of credibility and corruption, have occurred.
"I'm fully aware that to resolve these problems, we must press ahead with both economic structural reforms and political structural reforms, in particular reforms on the leadership system of the Party and the country," he said.
The premier said he believed any member of the Party and government officials with a sense of responsibility must fully recognize that further reform is "an urgent task" for China.
"I know very well that the reform will not be an easy one and the reform will not be able to succeed without the consciousness, the support, the enthusiasm and creativity of our people," Wen said.
To conduct such reforms in a big country with 1.3 billion population, Wen noted, people must always bury in mind China's national circumstances and develop the socialist democracy in a step-by-step manner.
The premier said he knows the people take an interest in not only what he has to say and what his ideas are, but also what results his efforts can bring.
"Even with a single breath, I'm still prepared to dedicate myself fully to advancing China's reform and opening-up cause," Wen said.
The premier said China will unswervingly implement the rural villagers' self-governance system and protect their legitimate rights of direct election.
The practices at many villages showed farmers can succeed in directly electing villagers' committees, he said.
Wen said if the people can manage a village well, they can do well in managing a township and a county.
"We should encourage people to follow the path to experiment boldly and withstand tests in practice," he added. "I believe China's democracy will develop in a step-by-step manner according to the national circumstances and the trend is unstoppable by any force."