China plans to stick with the economic and political reforms that have brought prestige, wealth and environmental catastrophe to the country, but don’t expect Beijing to turn its back on the Communist Party completely. As the official spokesman of the 17th party congress put it: “We will never copy the Western model of political system.”


China will never have Western-style democracy, a senior official said on the eve of the country’s most important political meeting in five years.

But Li Dongsheng, spokesman for the Communist Party’s 17th congress, said China would pursue political reform.

Mr Li was speaking at a news conference ahead of the congress, which opens in the capital, Beijing, on Monday.

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