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China is on the verge of reforms


The third plenum is likely to bring socio-economic and political reforms in China
SRAY AGARWAL | Issue Dated: November 24, 2013, New Delhi
Tags : CCP | Chinese Communist Party | China |

From November 9 to November 12, 2013, the Chinese Communist Party organised a historic plenary session of the 18th Central Committee to set the course of China’s socio-economic future. This was the third session in the current plenary series, with the first two being organised in the past twelve months. The importance of this third plenum can be gauged by the way the first two were designed. The first plenum took place in November 2012 wherein Xi Jinping was made the head of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) while in the second plenum, some members were given administrative roles and political positions. It was during this that Xi Jinping became the President.


Plenary sessions are seen as decisive events for China’s future. For instance, the 1978 plenum resulted in China focusing on becoming a global powerhouse while the 1993 plenum led to radical modernization of the economy and massive reduction in poverty. Of course, the meetings are held behind closed doors and the actual minutes aren’t disclosed to the people. However, this current plenum is supposed to be more for sustainable economic growth as the growth rate of the country has slowed down since the last couple of years and has affected the overall growth of the roaring dragon. China's economic growth has fallen down to below 8 per cent today from nearly 10 percent in 2007. State-owned monopolies, which contribute heavily to the economy and in turn consume a major part of investment budgets, have been the hardest hit in the current slowdown – if one can call it that. So these could see heavy restructuring in the expected economic reforms. Along with economic reforms, the social fabric is also expected to be reweaved. From issues like education to health to rural migration, most of economically sensitive agendas would be structured with new policies and laws.


In that last one decade or so, political corruption and graft has risen to new heights, affecting public confidence at large. On another front, international human rights bodies are regularly raising their eyebrows on China, given its pathetic record in human rights. Xi Jinping, the current paramount leader of China and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, is expected to cut the wings of the political class and come out with extensive anti-graft policies. Such policies, along with limiting political freedom, are likely to bring a paradigm shift in administration of business and in luring investors into the mainland.


A survey by the Global Times Global Poll Center  covering more than 1,200 people in China found that 80 percent of respondents “look forward to reforms in the social welfare and social security systems” while more than 50 percent respondents wanted to see reforms with respect to income distribution and corruption. Surprisingly, only 33 percent respondents wanted reforms in the political arena. Evidently, the Communist Party would be encouraged by this fact. For now, the world awaits details of what reforms the plenary session might decide to implement.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017