Deng Yuwen was a commentary writer and former Deputy Editor of the Central Party School’s journal, Study Times (Xuexi shibao 学习时报). During the party-state leadership transition period of 2012–2013, Deng made a habit of expressing provocative views in the media — something rare among scholars with a government background.
On 2 September 2012, Caijing 财经, a leading business magazine, published Deng’s three-part essay on what he called ‘the political legacy of Hu-Wen’ (Hu-Wende zhengzhi yichan 胡温的政治遗产). He argued that failures outweighed achievements in the decade-long rule of President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. He went on to identify ten grave problems confronting the incoming leadership:
- There have been no breakthroughs in economic restructuring and advancing a consumer-driven economy
- There’s been a failure to support and sustain a middle class
- The rural-urban [income and development] gap has increased
- Population policy lags behind reality
- The bureaucratisation and profit-incentivisation of educational and scientific research institutions shows no indication of being curtailed and it continues to stifle creativity
- Environmental degradation continues to worsen
- The government has failed to establish a stable energy-supply system
- The government has failed to build an effective and convincing system of shared values that can be accepted by the majority of its people, with resulting egregious behaviour and the collapse of ideology
- Diplomacy focused on ‘putting out fires’ and ‘maintaining stability’ lacks vision, strategic thinking and a specific agenda
- There have been insufficient efforts to push political reform and promote democratisation.