China's third plenum

The Chinese Communist Party's third plenum of the 18th Party Congress traditionally sets the economic tone for the Chinese government's next five-year term.

NPC Standing Committee to debate approval of one-child policy, labour camp reforms

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee. Photo: Xinhua

Abolishing a labour camp system and relaxing the decades-long one-child policy are among the highly watched proposals that the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee is expected to discuss during its weeklong meeting, which begins on Monday.

Monday, 23 December, 2013, 1:31pm

China's curbs on local government powers won't be enough to stop abuse

Far from enough

The strongest criticism of the Communist Party's third plenum in the West, and even from within China, has been over the lack of political reform.

20 Dec 2013 - 4:13am 2 comments

Economic blueprint without political reform in China a ‘lethal’ step: liberals

Analysts have said Xi Jinping's (right) roles as head of economic reform and national security groups would give him more power than his predecessor Hu Jintao (left) but liberal party elders say this could prove a double-edged sword. Photo: Reuters

The market reform drive set out in the Communist Party’s third plenum, coupled with the leadership’s consolidation of power, is only likely to deepen social problems in the absence of political reform, say liberal party veterans and scholars.

10 Dec 2013 - 5:01pm 1 comment

No more elite classes for 'smart' kids? Chinese tiger parents are not impressed

Pupils of Zhongguancun No. 1 Primary School watch performances during an art festival in Beijing on May 30, 2013.  Photo: Xinhua

Tang Wanyuan, the father of a sixth grader in Beijing, said he has not paid much attention to the Communist Party’s decision to ban the practice of putting the elite pupils in special classes. Like most young parents, he has little faith in such initiatives.

29 Nov 2013 - 12:05pm 1 comment

The Western devil is in the details of the plenum plan

The central government is accelerating efforts to set up Chinese versions of US federal circuit courts and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Photo: AFP

As the mainland leadership fleshes out the landmark blueprint adopted at the plenum of the Communist Party's 18th Central Committee and draw up details of how to implement the recommendations, it has made clear that China will never take the "evil route" of the Western-style democracy.

25 Nov 2013 - 4:45am 3 comments

Landmark shift in 'one child' rule brings market bubbles

Landmark shift in 'one child' rule brings market bubbles

Last week, institutional and individual investors poured money into so-called "second child" concept stocks, which can be baby milk producers or even piano makers as long as they are more or less related to how to grow a child on the mainland in the short or long-term.

25 Nov 2013 - 8:16am

Chinese investors face bumpy ride from reforms

Investors are keyed up after the Communist Party meeting.

Rapid swings in Chinese financial markets in response to ambitious reform plans herald a white-knuckle year for investors, as speculation on the direction and tempo of policy pours petrol on an already volatile market.

2 Dec 2013 - 10:29am

Communist Party seeks to reform its 'shuanggui' anti-corruption investigations

Wang Qishan, head of the Communist Party's anti-corruption body, speaks at a meeting in Beijing in May 2013. Photo: Xinhua

The Communist Party is considering scaling down the system of secret interrogations and detentions it uses to root out corruption in its ranks. The nation’s top prosecutions body invited several anti-corruption experts to give advice on reform of the shuanggui interrogation system on the same day the party’s top leaders finished their third plenum meeting that mapped out a series of political and economic reforms.

22 Nov 2013 - 4:40pm 1 comment

China reform pledges show Xi assuming Deng mantle, analysts say

China's President Xi Jinping. Photo: Reuters

By claiming authorship of broad reform pledges after repeated conservative pronouncements, China’s President Xi Jinping is assuming the mantle of Deng Xiaoping, who oversaw both huge economic changes and the Tiananmen crackdown, scholars say.

19 Nov 2013 - 4:48pm 1 comment

Communist Party plenum's pledges aimed at reformers and conservatives

Communist Party plenum's pledges aimed at reformers and conservatives

The broad-brush policy document issued last week following a key Communist Party meeting is aimed at appeasing various interest groups and addressing major public discontent. If the ambitious agenda is not implemented, that will raise the political stakes for the party, analysts say.

18 Nov 2013 - 12:42pm 1 comment

Plenum push towards 'greener' economy faces challenges

The plenum resolution for the first time lists "environmental protection" among the government's five top responsibilities. Photo: Xinhua

The Communist Party has vowed to seek a more balanced model of development by shifting local governments' focus away from breakneck economic growth, according to the resolution from a key party meeting last week.

18 Nov 2013 - 5:53am

Plenum plans signal looser state hold over IPOs

Plenum plans signal looser state hold over IPOs

The central government may reduce the influence of the state on stock markets as part of its reform agenda, including by making it easier for companies to list their stocks and making management of state-owned firms more accountable to shareholders.

18 Nov 2013 - 5:53am

Xi moves closer to becoming another paramount leader

Xi Jinping (right) led the panel that drafted the plenum resolution, not Li Keqiang (left). Photo: Xinhua

The disappointment among business leaders, analysts and even junior mainland officials was almost palpable on Tuesday after Communist Party leaders emerged from a secretive four-day meeting and outlined their much-anticipated plans to move the country forward.

18 Nov 2013 - 7:30am 1 comment

Top family planning official plays down relaxation of one-child policy

Official said that allowing couples to have a second children when only one parent was an only child represented a minor change. Photo: EPA

Wang Peian, the deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said that allowing couples to have a second children when only one parent was an only child represented a minor change. He even disputed using the word "relaxation" to describe it.

17 Nov 2013 - 8:27am

Questions over what replaces 're-education through labour'

"Re-education through labour" facilities like this one are to be eliminated, according to a third plenum communiqué, but some rights advocates are concerned about what will replace this notorious system. Photo: SMP

The abolition of the notorious "re-education through labour", or laojiao, system announced on Friday has been widely hailed as a significant step forward in human-rights protection on the mainland, but rights advocates and legal experts remain sceptical over the new correctional system that is expected to replace it.

17 Nov 2013 - 5:39am