Leadership charts path
Updated: 2013-11-13 07:18
By ZHAO YINAN in Beijing and FU JING in Brussels (China Daily)
It is the first time in a decade that the Party has set out a reform plan covering all sectors.
The road map is expected to boost China's development and benefit the world after 204 Central Committe members gathered in Beijing for the four-day closed-door meeting to discuss and endorse a decision on "comprehensively deepening reform".
By 2020, China is to achieve "decisive results" in reforms in important fields, with economic changes a central part of the overhaul.
Reform and opening-up, the communique said, are the most distinguished characteristics of modern China and the crucial choice to settle the fate of the country.
Among other initiatives singled out for reform, the Party said it will deepen fiscal and tax reform, establish a unified land market in cities and the countryside, set up a sustainable social security system, and give farmers more property rights — all seen as necessary for putting the world's second-largest economy on a more sustainable footing.
To achieve all this, China pledged to better coordinate the top-level design of the reform by "wading across the stream by feeling the way", a term used to describe pushing ahead reforms with no experience to learn from.
The communique released after the 1993 Third Plenum recognized the "basic role" of the market, but Zhang said it was a compromise being reached at a time when the consensus for a market economy was insufficient.
"Now it is time to break away from excessive government control and allow the market to take the lead. The market should be entrusted with the role it deserves in a market economy," he said.
Rui Meng, a professor of finance and accounting at the China Europe International Business School, said a bigger role for the economy is accompanied by the right positioning of government, which should improve the ability to provide public services to fill the gap that the market cannot cover.
Shada Islam, policy director of the Brussels-based think tank Friends of Europe, said China is very much on the path of furthering market-led economic reform.
"There were some concerns before the plenum that some of the expectations were very high and that China's new leadership is not able to deliver on many of the expectations," Islam said.
However, since reading the document after the meeting, Islam said the first indication is that many of the expectations are going to be met at least as policy guidelines. "It's very important that China continues the path of opening-up and market-led economic reform to realize its own equitable and equal society."
She said the focus on building an equal society is vital for the "Chinese Dream" to become reality. "It's also very important for future stability in China," she said.
Contact the writers at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Zheng Yangpeng contributed to this story.