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Party's third plenum to focus on reform

Updated: 2013-08-28 01:03
By ZHAO YINAN and HOU LIQIANG ( China Daily)

Meeting will also set economic agenda

Senior Party members will meet in November in Beijing to discuss deepening reforms, and experts said they expect the meeting to set China's economic agenda.

The decision to hold the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee was made at a meeting of the Party's political bureau on Tuesday, which adopted plans for streamlining local government, and preventing and punishing corruption over the next four years.

A statement released after the meeting underlined the significance of a comprehensive and deepening reform.

"It will help resolve outstanding conflicts and challenges China faces in the course of its development, and will be conducive to achieving sustainable and healthy economic and social development," the statement said.

"Reform and opening-up should be continuous and never stop. Standing still or going backward will lead to a dead end."

Wu Hui, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the reform being proposed is likely to be gradual.

Allowing society and enterprises to play a bigger role and restricting the government's unnecessary involvement in the market economy might be topics at the meeting, Wu said.

"Less restriction from the government means more vitality from the market," he said.

He further suggested the government retreat from its current role of driving local economic growth to provide more public services, in a transformation of the government function that has been urged for years.

Wu also noted deepening reform should be conducted along with anti-graft efforts.

"Without cracking down on corruption, the change of government function cannot be conducted smoothly," he said.

The past three decades have shown that the third plenums are usually agenda-setting conferences at which the leadership maps out its vision for China, mostly in the economic sphere.

Long Pingping, a researcher from the Party's Literature Research Office, said, "The third plenums are important, because many groundbreaking policies that shake China's economy were worked out during these meetings."

He said the third plenum is usually convened at a time when the new leadership of the Party has learned more about the country after stepping into office.

"The leadership's vision about deepening reform will become a national strategy after being endorsed at the plenum," he said.

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