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Bold yet steady reform

Updated: 2013-11-13 08:20
( China Daily)

They have demonstrated awesome resolve in fighting corruption and maneuvering style changes within the governing party.

They have displayed impressive confidence in handling the national economic locomotive that is in ostensible hardship.

But to what extent is the Chinese leadership committed to the bolder and more decisive reforms a healthier economy and society needs? What blueprint has the Communist Party of China come up with when reform and opening-up are calling for powerful new drivers?

Bold yet steady reform

Though couched in generalities, the communique of the just concluded Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee sketched out reforms for the next decade. The country will have modern governance with power caged in sound systems, the market playing a decisive role, a redline for ecological protection, rule of law observed with independent justice, and both rural and urban people enjoying fair rights and the benefits of national development.

The policy orientation that is clear throughout the communique is a reassuring balance of resolve and prudence, the balance this country needs at the moment.

To "deepen reforms in an all-round manner" is no easy job given the pervasive existence of vested interests. But the plenum's prescription shows a determination to leave no stone unturned.

The idea to promote the modernization of both the system and capabilities of national governance is refreshing. It will ultimately define and substantiate the Chinese brand of socialism.

The promise of "decisive achievements in reforms in important realms and at crucial links by 2020" is inspiring in that many of such reforms are at once imperative and extremely difficult. Even more encouraging is the concept to put in place a sound network of system guarantees.

The creation of a special panel at the highest level to oversee reform endeavors signals determination to truly deliver.

Moreover, even some of the seemingly minor initiatives in new wording may lead to revolutionary changes.

For the first time in official literature, the market is assigned a "decisive role" in resources distribution. The same is true in the proposal to build a "unified" land market for building purposes in rural and urban areas, so as to "endow farmers with more property rights". Once elaborated in forthcoming documents and translated into tailored policies, many such new concepts endorsed at the meeting may create a host of new growth points for the national economy and bring additional benefits to the national populace and the world at large.

The communique once again confirms the new leadership's loyalty to the incremental approach to reform and opening-up, which has served the country well over the past 35 years.

Top leader Xi Jinping was foresighted in observing that a country as big as ours cannot afford fundamental blunders. And the stakes are higher than ever today.

But the plenum has assured us nothing is holding the CPC back on the course of reform and opening-up. Bold while steady, that is how it paces the country's strides forward.

(China Daily 11/13/2013 page8)