Dropping Mao wording hints China reforms

Dropping Mao wording hints China reforms

BEIJING - Reuters
The subtle dropping of references to late Chinese leader Mao Zedong from two policy statements over the last few weeks serves as one of the most intriguing hints yet that the ruling Communist Party is planning to move in the direction of reform.

Mao has always been held up as an ideological great in party communiques, his name mentioned almost by default in homage to his role in founding modern China and leading the Communist Party, whose rule from the 1949 revolution remains unbroken.

Which is why the dropping of the words “Mao Zedong thought” from two recent statements by the party’s elite Politburo ahead of a landmark congress, at which a new generation of leaders will take the top party posts, has attracted so much attention.

Also absent were normally standard references to Marxism-Leninism.

The omission in the latest such statement by the powerful decision-making body, a Monday announcement that the congress next month would discuss amending the party’s constitution, has seen by some as sending a signal about its intent on reform. One of the constitution’s key platforms is Mao thought.