Oct 31, 2013 06:08 PM

'Unprecedented' Reforms Will Come from Party Meeting, Source Says

(Beijing) – "Unprecedented" reforms will be unveiled at the upcoming third plenum of the Communist Party's 18th Central Committee, a source close to preparations for the meeting says.

Scholars and members of the public have come to expect that the third full meeting of the 205-member committee, to be held from November 9 to 12 in the capital, will issue a major reform blueprint.

The source indicated the reforms will be comprehensive, covering the economy, politics, culture, society and the environment. This echoes remarks the party's general secretary, Xi Jinping, made this month.

Information from an October 29 meeting of the 25-member Politburo chaired by Xi indicated that a document discussing major decisions about deepening reforms is being circulated among officials and policy advisers. A revised version of that document will be put forward at the upcoming plenum.

A source who participated in the drafting of that document said the proposals cover a much wider range of topics than landmark reform guidelines issued at similar party meetings in 1993 and 2003.

Since reform and opening up started in the late 1970s, the third full meeting of each Central Committee has often been dedicated to economic reforms. In 1993, the third session of the 14th Central Committee approved a proposal to establish a socialist market economic system.

Ten years later, the party meeting approved more measures regarding the economy.

Ideas for reforms have been making the rounds ahead of this year's meeting. Proposals drafted by the Development Research Center of the State Council, a government think tank, have received a lot of attention in the media.

The proposals, dubbed the "383 Plan", listed a reform trinity – the market, government and corporations – eight key sectors and three packages for likely breakthroughs. Under the plan, the key to reform is establishing the right relationship between government and market.

Many critics say the government's role in the economy is too great.

The center has suggested changes to administrative controls on the economy; the handling of land; the role state-owned enterprises play in the economy; the hukou, or resident registration, system; the so-called one-child policy; and social security.

Scholars have applauded the 383 Plan, but others point out the final reform lineup will be different in many aspects.

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