«Without religious freedom China can’t solve problems. Society and party are then doomed to collapse»

The Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Congress nears its end. It’s the most important political meeting in China in 10 years. A new generation of leaders, including Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, are expected to be placed in the Party’s top positions, replacing the current leadership headed by Hu Jintao. Tempi.it interviewed on the issue the great expert of chinese Church Anthony Lam, direcotr of the Holy Spirit Study Centre of Hong Kong.

How would you evaluate the work of president Hu Jintao as president of China?
He is a very good technical leader but overlook the human conflict between the government body and the people suppressed.

Hu Jintao wanted to create an “harmonious society”. Do you think he has reached this aim?
Far from his aim. Actually the local cadres in provincial level and city level caused a lot of problem. The situation now is even worse than ten years ago.

In these ten years China saw a rapid economic growth but still maintain a lot of social and economic problems. What has gone wrong?
People are earning money at the cost of others. For example, some factories are total prohibited at other countries are still secretly (or openly) operating in China. The enterprises can earn money but the local people have to suffer from this.

A lot of times Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao in last years spoke about “reforms” in politics, but I didn’t see any of them. Do you think they couldn’t manage to make them or they didn’t want to make them?
Both. They are always worrying about loss of control. All reform involves shift of power. If they are not preparing to give up their power privilege, there is no way to reform.

You are an attentive observer of the life of catholic church in China. Have religious freedom been improved in these ten years or else it is worsened?
Clearly the situation is getting worse.

Do you think religious freedom is a key issue for China today?
Sure. If there is no religious freedom, there is no integrity and honesty. If so, the society will collapse some day one day.

The corruption is one of the main problem of the Communist Party. Why there is this huge problem in the Party, in your opinion?
Because of the power structure. There is no democracy nor check and balance system.

What do you expect from the next Congress, the next leadership and the next president (as it seems) Xi Jinping?
Nothing. His situation is worse than ten years ago when Hu is succeeding Jiang Zhemin.

What are the main tasks China’s next leadership will have to face? Which are today the main problems of China?
To tackle problems we’ve just spoken about. But I don’t think anybody can solve these problems.

Lastly, do you see hope for an improvement of life of chinese people in the next years?
Surely. As the Civil society is emerging, people will have bigger voice and will find the way to solve problems by themselves.