Editor’s Note: In an interview with CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour, Cheng Li talks about the potential of political reforms in China for more democracy and sustainable economic growth under the new generation of top leaders.
Christiane Amanpour (CA): First to China. So will there be more political freedom and reform in its future? I’m joined by Cheng Li, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; director, also, of the National Committee on U.S.-China relations. He grew up in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution before coming here to the United States. Welcome to the program.
Cheng Li (CL): Thank you for having me.
CA: So, you heard that very unusual dire warning from Hu Jintao. How surprised were you by what he focused on today? .
CL: Well I’m not surprised, but encouraged by this statement. The people in China talk about revolution, talk about corruption, talk about [how] the Communist Party lost its legitimacy in the wake of [the] Bo Xilai case and widely-spread corruption. But this is [the] first time from the top leadership [to] make a commitment, make a very clear statement that, unless the Party reforms itself, otherwise it will be kicked out of history.