Busy work schedule caused me to have missed the very important essay by Wen Jianbao (see the reading list panel for a couple related discussion links): 关于社会主义初级阶段的历史任务和我国对外政策的几个问题, "A few issues about the historic mission during the initial stage of socialism development and our foreigh policy" (I suppose by now there might already have been some English translation?)
It is significant, not because it offers any new breakthrough in political theory, socialism theology, or China's foreign policy, but because it is the first time that Wen has spoken out to steer China back to Dengism, and make it explicit that China needs to get thing right (and what he means by "getting it right"). To some observers (who believes Hu Jintao has veered away from Deng's "Lay low" (TGYH) policy, this may mean a public show down of disagreement between Hu and Wen. (For those who have read this blog, you would know I tend to agree more with Deng and Wen)
The key points IMO is basically, as Professor Zheng Yongnian of Nottingham University said, "Back to Dengism"
- "A fair environment is required to enhance productivity" (不随着生产力的发展而相应地逐步推进社会公平与正义，就不可能愈益充分地调动全社会的积极性和创造活力，因而也就不可能持久地实现生产力的大发展) This is the foundation of modern capitalism. Wen went on to say such mechanism is not the monopoly of modern capitalism, to adapt it into the "socialistic theory of Chinese characteristic". Well, he actually has a good point, uncorrupted and fair play is exactly the reason for the success of Scandivanian countries, and they are really a hybrid of true socialism and capitalism.
- There is a long way to go for China -- i.e. China still needs to lay low and avoid any potential conflict for the next 100 years (TGYH!)
The appreciation (and the public declaration) of a need for a fair system is profound. It means China is finally ready to reform its legal and political system. It realized that the unfairness (and the corruption that it has so sincerely be fighting recently) has started to drag the feet of its development. If the system is not fair, the rules in the market are distorted. When the rules are distorted, the most competitive and more efficient company will not win in the market. This means Chinese development will stall or be capped at certain level. This has already been demonstrated by the fact that the expansion of Chinese companies to the world has so far met with extremely limited success. (TCL is one example. Even the calabrated Haier's path has not been exactly smooth)