Zakaria: May I ask you — some Americans and Europeans, particularly human rights observers, say that China has cracked down on human rights over the last few years, that they had been hoping that the Olympics would lead to an opening of China, but that it has, there has been more repression. How would you respond to that?
Wen Jiabao: By hosting the Olympic Games, China has actually become more open. Anyone without biases will see — have seen that. In the freedom of speech and the freedom in news media coverage are guaranteed in China. The Chinese government attaches importance to, and protects, human rights. We have incorporated these lines into the Chinese constitution, and we also implement the stipulation in real earnest. I think for any government, what is most important, is to ensure that its people enjoy each and every right given to them by the constitution.
Including their right to survival, freedom and to pursue their happiness.
We don’t think that we are impeccable in terms of human rights. It is true that in some places and in some areas, we do have problems of this kind or that kind. Nonetheless, we are continuing to make efforts to make improvements, and we want to further improve human rights in our country.
萨：当我在中国的时候，在旅馆里，在电脑中键入“天安门广场”时遇到了防火墙，有些人把它称为“中国的网上长城”（Great Firewall of China）。您认为一个连自由的在互联网上搜索信息都做不到的社会可以称得上是一个进步的社会吗？
Zakaria: When I go to China and I’m in a hotel and I type in the words Tiananmen Square in my computer, I get a firewall, what some people call the Great Firewall of China. Can you be an advanced society if you don’t have freedom of information to find out information on the Internet?
Wen Jiabao: China now has over 200 million Internet users, and the freedom of Internet in China is recognized by many, even from the west. Nonetheless, to uphold state security, China, like many countries in the world, has also imposed some proper restrictions. That is for the safety, that is for the overall safety of the country and for the freedom of the majority of the people.
I can also tell you on the Internet in China, you can have access to a lot of postings that are quite critical about the government.
It is exactly through reading these critical opinions on the Internet that we try to locate problems and further improve our work.
I don’t think a system or a government should fear critical opinions or views. Only by heeding those critical views would it be possible for us to further improve our work and make further progress.
I frequently browse the Internet to learn about a situation.
Zakaria: What are your favorite sites?
Wen Jiabao: I’ve browsed a lot of Internet Web sites.
Zakaria: I will take advantage of your kindness and ask you a question that many people around the world wonder about. There is a very famous photograph of you at Tiananmen square in 1989. What lesson did you take from your experiences in dealing with that problem in 1989?
Wen Jiabao: I believe that while moving ahead with economic reforms, we also need to advance political reforms, as our development is comprehensive in nature, our reform should also be comprehensive.
I think the core of your question is about the development of democracy in China. I believe when it comes to the development of democracy in China, we talk about progress to be made in three areas:
No. 1: We need to gradually improve the democratic election system so that state power will truly belong to the people and state power will be used to serve the people
No. 2: We need to improve the legal system, run the country according to law, and establish the country under the rule of law and we need to view an independent and just judicial system.
No. 3: Government should be subject to oversight by the people and that will ask us, call on us to increase transparency in government affairs and particularly it is also necessary for government to accept oversight by the news media and other parties.
There is also another important aspect that when it comes to development of democracy in China, we need to take into account China’s national conditions, and we need to introduce a system that suits China’s special features, and we need to introduce a gradual approach.
Zakaria: People say you’re studying the Japanese system because there’s democracy but there’s only one party that seems to win the elections. Is that the kind of model you see for China?
Wen Jiabao: I think there are multiple forms of democracy in the world. What is important is the substance of democracy.
Which means that at the end of the day, what is important about democracy is that whether such form of democracy can really represent the calling and interest of the people.
Socialism as I understand it is a system of democracy. Without democracy, there is no socialism.
And such a democracy first and foremost should serve to ensure people’s right to democratic elections, oversight and decision making.
Such a democracy should also help people to fully develop themselves in an all-around way in an environment featuring freedom and equality.
And such a democracy should be based on a full-fledged legal system. Otherwise, there would be chaos. That’s why we need to run the country according to law and ensure that everyone is equal under the law.