Third Plenum decision eyes further economic reforms

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, and other Communist Party top leaders raise their hands to vote in the third plenary session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Photo: AP

A decision was reached at the closure of the third plenary meeting of the 18th Party Congress on November 12 to "deepen reforms." Newly approved measures include setting up a State Security Council for security issues and a Central Party Leading Group to be charged with drafting, organizing and pushing for comprehensive reform plans.

An outline of the decision, titled "Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms," was made public by the official Xinhua News Agency and CCTV after the four-day session of meetings. The whole decision will be released on a later date.

The outline says that the core solution to economic reform lies in defining a proper relationship between the government and the market. It said the market should play a "decisive" role in resource allocation, which for the last decade was phrased differently as a "fundamental" role.

It called for a pricing mechanism based on the market and a rural-urban unified construction land market, as well as granting more property rights to farmers. "Farmers should be permitted equal participation in the modernization process and share the fruits of modernization," said the outline.

The outline mentioned the deepening of political reform. In terms of legal affairs, the outline asked for judicial reforms, respecting the authority of the constitution, deepening reform on administrative law enforcement, making sure the rights of courts and procurators are executed independently, justly and accordingly to the law, and improving the legal protection of human rights.

The party blueprint stated the public should be allowed to scrutinize the use of power, since that's the key to "let power operate under the sun" and "place power within a cage."

The Central Party Leading Group on Comprehensively Deepening of Reform will design reform plans, coordinate and push forward the implementation of policies and review results.

The establishment of a State Security Council is aimed at improving the national security system and the country's security strategy.

The outline says the comprehensive decision covers 15 areas – the basic economic structure, a modern market system, transforming the government's role, reforms to budget management, unifying the development of urban and rural China, developing a system suitable for an open economy, the socialist democratic political system, establishing rule of law in China, checks and scrutiny on government power, producing an innovative culture system, social system and social management, ecological development, military reform and enhancing the party's leadership over a comprehensive deepening of reform.

It sets 2020 as the deadline for reaching "decisive reform results in key sectors" and for establishing "a well-developed, scientific, procedure-based and effective framework" for the country's major institutions.

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