China's Communist Party begins third plenum to decide economic reforms
Security tight for four-day gathering of China's leaders, expected to weigh economic reforms
A steady stream of black, official-looking cars passing through tight security at the army-owned Jingxi Hotel yesterday was the only indication that China's leaders were about to meet to discuss the country's future.
The Communist Party began its third plenary meeting yesterday, bringing together the individuals who will decide the direction of the nation for the next decade.
President Xi Jinping and other senior party leaders have pledged to deliver "unprecedented" and "comprehensive" reforms as expectations mount for measures to address social and economic woes.
Almost 400 full and alternate members of the party's Central Committee are meeting in the Beijing hotel over four days. Xinhua is expected to release a communiqué after the plenum ends on Tuesday.
The news agency and other party mouthpieces such as CCTV said little about the meeting yesterday. Large numbers of police cars and policemen were deployed outside the hotel, in the west of the capital. Members of the public were barred from getting close.
The party elite would deliberate on a draft document on "major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms" while the 25-strong Politburo would report to the Central Committee, Xinhua said. Reforms would be "systematic, integrated and co-ordinated", the agency added.
It is expected Xi and Premier Li Keqiang will face pressure to provide new impetus for economic growth and address public grievances over monopolies held by state-owned companies, soaring property prices, rampant corruption, the household registration system and the one-child family planning policy.
Observers are waiting to see if Jiang Jiemin, the former chief of the state-owned assets regulator who was detained over graft, is expelled from the Central Committee.
Security in the capital was already high following the deadly car crash, branded a "terrorist attack", outside Tiananmen Gate on October 28. Beijing has blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a Uygur separatist group, for the incident.