Premier Wen has been chanting for political reform in an unusual high intensity. He publicly spoke about the sensitive issue 6 times in 3 months, and used phrases such as, '.. dead end', and '..won't give up until my last breath'. By all means, he sounds not only deadly serious, but also alarmingly urgent.
Finally, the ruling communist party responded with an editorial of the People's Daily. The article titled '..steadily push forward political reform', while the contents basically removed any doubts that such reform could be remotely possible under the Party's rule. It insisted the Party's firm leadership is absolutely essential, and threatened any political reform to be unpatriotic.
Scholars liken the situation to that at the end of the Qing Dynasty. While the people, echoed by some senior officials, demand political reform, the imperial government blandly refused. A couple of years later, Qing collapsed suddenly in 1911. Since 1840, the Qing had survived western invasion and mass rebellion. When it collapsed in 1911, it was enjoying a rather uneventful period.