Chinese leaders start key economic 'reform' summit
9 Nov AFP
China's ruling Communist Party began a key meeting Saturday to
dictate the direction of the world's second-biggest economy for the next
The official Xinhua news agency said the gathering of the party
Central Committee would discuss a draft document on "major issues
concerning comprehensively deepening reforms" in the Chinese economy, a
key driver of regional and global growth. Recent reports in party and
state media have singled out key issues at the four-day meeting as
potentially including land and administrative reforms, as well as
reducing protections for powerful state-owned enterprises.
A government think-tank, meanwhile, called for dismantling the
residency registration system known as "hukou", which restricts access
to medical insurance and other benefits for migrants. China also faces
important issues including oppressive air and environmental pollution,
and how to retool its economy to ensure more sustainable growth.
The party gathering, known as the Third Plenum and which takes place
amid intense security and secrecy, has traditionally set the economic
tone for a new government, and past meetings have been used to signal
It comes a year after China embarked on a once-a-decade leadership
transition, with Xi Jinping taking over as party general secretary
before becoming state president in March.
Although the economy is no longer completely party- and
state-controlled, the ruling body holds huge sway, with officials in
charge of key elements, such as the exchange rate, that in other
countries are left mostly to markets.