The plenum's decision to play up 'spiritual civilisation' will give an opportunity to the leftists, or remnant Maoists, to claw back lost ground, party sources said.
President Jiang instructed at the plenary session that a Guiding Committee for the Construction of Spiritual Civilisation be set up to promote values such as socialism, patriotism and collectivism.
The sources said the committee would likely be dominated by both orthodox Maoists, such as veteran commissar Deng Liqun , and 'opportunistic leftists', like Propaganda Department head Ding Guangen .
Political analysts said it was noteworthy the Resolution on Spiritual Civilisation made no mention of 'fighting leftism'.
This had been raised by relatively liberal Politburo members such as National People's Congress chairman Qiao Shi during the summer's leadership conference at the north seaside resort of Beidaihe.
The resolution highlighted Mr Deng's viewpoint that 'we must not at any time sacrifice spiritual civilisation in exchange for the temporary development of the economy'.