Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

What to take from the Plenum?

By Louis Kuijs (China Daily) Updated: 2013-11-14 07:29

The communique issued at the close of the Third Plenum that ended on Tuesday contained the general objectives, principles and the orientations of reforms, to be followed by the Decisions document, also discussed at the Plenum, which will feature more specific objectives, principles and orientations.

Pending the specifics, what can we take away from the communique?

The approach to reform seems quite comprehensive, encompassing not just specific areas of economic reform but aiming at changing something as fundamental as the role of the government. Also, this is about the long haul - the leadership hopes to have made good progress by 2020. It will be gradual reform, not rapid changes. The communique confirms that economic reform, more market orientation and further opening-up to the outside world are key pillars of China's economic policy strategy.

What to take from the Plenum? 

The Tianjin Binhai New Area, which was established in 2006, in this file photo taken on July 28, 2011. [Photo/Asianewsphoto]

On several specific areas of reform, including financial and monetary reform and rebalancing the pattern of growth, the communique says little. That does not mean there is no scope for movement in those areas. The Decisions document is likely to discuss them. Thus, it is too early to say whether the reform directions and orientations agreed at the Plenum will meet the expectations in those closely watched areas.

Other areas that are being closely watched, including State-owned enterprises, urbanization and rural land issues, featured in communique, but with language that does not suggest a major breakthrough any time soon.

The Communist Party of China will set up a central team to lead "comprehensively deepening reform". This team will be in charge of designing the overall design of the reforms, arranging and coordinating reforms, pushing forward reform as a whole, and supervising the implementation of the reforms. This is potentially an important innovation, depending on the clout that the team will have.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News
New type of urbanization is in the details