Political change will be spurred from bottom, not top, in China: Harper

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines - Stephen Harper doesn't expect much political change in China with the upcoming change of leadership in the country.

But the prime minister thinks average people in countries like China will begin demanding more democratic change as they become more prosperous.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao are set to retire on Thursday at the communist party congress and make way for new leadership.

Countries around the world are looking closely at the power shift in Beijing for any signs of support for reform.

Harper is on an official visit to the Philippines, a country that itself has been fighting corruption and trying to strengthen its economy.

Canada announced it would spend $15.5 million over four years to support job training of young people in the Philippines as well as help streamline the regulations around infrastructure projects.