About Smart Chinese Leaders

…or “What is a Communist Party doing in a place where popular opinion is so important?”

China’s response to quake is unusually open“, says the International Herald Tribune. And that’s very clear from the pictures distributed hours after the disaster:


Prime minister Wen Jiabao of China looking at a map of Sichuan province on his flight to the earthquake’s epicenter in Wenchuan county. (Source: Xinhua News Agency via the AFP)


Premier Wen Jiabao, center, and other government officials on the plane to Chengdu to manage disaster relief. (Source: Xinhua)

Why would Wen Jiabao dedicate any time to pictures? Evidently, popular opinion in China is very, very important. Some sort of paradox, in a society where the Communist Party is in theory in charge.