K J M Varma Beijing, Mar 5: China today promised to bring about institutional changes to end "excess concentration of power" and to work to meet public demands in the backdrop of the stepped up efforts by dissidents to stir up Egyptian style protests demanding end to one party rule.
"We will comprehensively deepen reform, press ahead with economic reforms and advance political restructuring," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in a State of Nation address at the opening of the National People''s Congress (NPC) here today.
Regarded as a liberal in the Communist Party, Wen acknowledged "great resentment" in China over growing income disparity and said "we must make institutional changes to end the excessive concentration of power and lack of checks on power and resolutely prevent and punish corruption".
"We must safeguard the people''s democratic rights and legitimate rights and interests and safeguard social fairness and justice," he said addressing the packed meeting at the Great Hall of people attended by President Hu Jintao, top leaders of the party besides 5000 deputies of the joint meeting of the NPC and Chinese People''s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
NPC has about 3000 deputies, while the CPPCC has mostly nominated members who have made a mark in different fields of social development. The two bodies meet annually once about a fortnight to discuss and debate new legislations and reforms.
Wen''s key remarks on political reforms came in the background of attempts by overseas dissident groups to stir up protests labelled as "Jasmine Revolution" using the internet during the last two weeks.
The attempts have so far failed to materialise into public protests after police made heavy show of strength in Beijing and other cities.
The Chinese government has also issued stern warning to the foreign media here about the coverage of such incidents with threats to cancel media accreditations and visas.