Government officials have largely avoided politically sensitive questions from the press during the ongoing 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing, indicating a party on the defensive following the high profile Bo Xilai scandal, Reuters reported. Provincial leaders and political hopefuls have largely dodged international media, and those who have spoken to the media have responded with answers that toe the party line. Tianjin party leader Zhang Gaoli remained mostly silent through a supposedly “open session” of a delegation last week. Party chief of Guangdong province, Wang Yang, seen as a proponent of change, responded to questions about reform with generic party-line answers. The party’s lack of responsiveness to the media is in sharp contrast to the National People’s Congress in 2007, when leaders answered questions on a range of topics in an effort to demonstrate transparency ahead of the Olympics.
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