BEIJING — The specter of corruption continued to hound China’s leaders Friday, the second day of a week-long Communist Party congress at which the country’s next generation of top leaders are expected to be unveiled.
At several group events throughout the day, reporters were allowed to watch party leaders discuss policy in a pre-scripted manner — mostly designed to give the party congress a veneer of democratic dialogue.
But the veneer was shattered, in most cases, when leaders opened up the floor to questions.
Reporters inevitably tried to ask about recent corruption scandals and the lack of enforcement and strong anti-corruption regulations in China, which allows leaders and their relatives to profit off their political connections. In most cases, the questions were not answered.
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, especially, has been under fire ever since a recent New York Times article said that his family controls assets worth $2.7 billion, some of it in industries that fall under Wen’s purview. Policy discussions attended by Wen and by President Hu Jintao on Friday were closed to reporters.