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The Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee set for Nov 9-12

From: Global Times

Updated:2013-11-08 15:56

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A key plenary session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be held from November 9 through 12, amid great anticipation for a road map to deepen the country's reforms in an all-around approach.

The announcement for the opening of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee was made after a Tuesday meeting of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, presided over byXi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

The Xinhua News Agency reported that participants at the meeting listened to a report about opinions solicited within and outside the Party on a draft decision of the CPC Central Committee on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms. The draft will be submitted for review at the November meeting.

Vowing that "various malpractices in systems and mechanisms must be cleared," the meeting said "We should let labor, knowledge, technology, management and capital unleash their dynamism, let all sources of wealth spread and let all people enjoy more fruits of development fairly," according to a statement from the meeting quoted by Xinhua.

While the first and second plenary sessions traditionally focus on personnel reshuffles, many agenda-setting policies for the new leadership are often rolled out at the third plenary session.

As a result, expectations have been mounting over how Xi and PremierLi Keqiang's administration will steer the reform of the world's second-largest economy.

In the latest issue of the People's Tribune, a magazine affiliated to the People's Daily, a recent poll that surveyed nearly 7,000 people showed transforming government functions, narrowing income gap, breaking monopolies, reforming the household registration system, the land system and the financial system are the top six areas the public want the government to address.

Huang Weiping, director of the Contemporary Chinese Politics Research Institute at Shenzhen University, told the Global Times Tuesday that he hopes the authority could make concrete progress in the upcoming reform by regulating and limiting public power, as well as ensuring rights of citizens and market power.

Given the current global status of the Chinese economy, anticipation over the country's reform also aroused overseas interest.

Wang Qinwei, a China economist with London-based Capital Economics, told the Global Times Tuesday that his institution is paying great attention to whether a clear direction and clear framework for reform will be released at the session.

"Such a direction and a framework will boost (people's) confidence and unify the goals of central and local governments, which will let departments at both central and local levels push the reform in the same direction," Wang said.

President Xi has repeatedly stressed that the new round of reforms will be a comprehensive one, which has won recognition from observers.

Jia Kang, head of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science under theMinistry of Finance, said in a recent article that reform in various sectors is now "intertwined," and "one single move would have overall implications."

Wang expects the new reform's ultimate goals to be better income and resource distribution, as well as improved market efficiency caused by less government intervention, which will all inevitably lead to cutbacks in government and State-owned enterprises' interests and draw huge resistance from such organs.

"The central authority has made clear their (preferred) reform direction. But there is still uncertainty over how fast and how much headway the reform could make," he said.

According to the People's Tribune poll, nearly three quarters of the respondents said they are confident that the plenary session will be able to solve the difficulties in reform, while 19 percent said they lack confidence.

In addition to the resistance caused by vested interests, the growing ideological debate in recent years also affected the drawing of the reform road map, with different models competing at local levels.

Huang said the central leadership has been balancing ideological influence over the mapping of the reform. "There is a consensus among the top leaders that there will be no change of direction in the market economy," Huang said, noting that it also has to cater to the concerns from the conservatives.

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