Unlike China’s other top leaders, PremierWen Jiabao has presented his political views after the 17th CCP Congress. Wen’s assertive attitude for further political reform has attracted attention from international as well as domestic media. This article utilizes both institutionalism and network analysis to explain this uncommon political phenomenon, while it illuminates the drawback of the attribute perspective which has been used popularly to infer the attitudes of China’s political elites. This study argues that Wen’s attitude with personality has been produced by some institutional and network factors. They include: the decline of a powerful rival, different functions of the party and state in China’s policy-making and implementation, division of policy work among Politburo Standing Committee leaders.

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