Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, November 08, 2013

Listen up

There are times when the media deliver to you lots of good information, some of it teachable.

Beginning Saturday, China's top leaders are meeting in Beijing. Decisions made there will guide policy for the next few years. Some Western journalists will hang out in Beijing and others will pour over every word that comes out of China about the meeting.

Watch for the results.

The long weekend: China’s leaders will soon reveal their ambitions for economic reform
RUNNING the world’s biggest country requires sacrifice. For the Communist Party’s top 376 officials on its central committee, the sacrifice includes the occasional weekend. From Saturday November 9th until the following Tuesday, they will gather in Beijing for the third time since Xi Jinping became head of the party nearly a year ago. The “third plenum”, as this meeting will be called, is the new leadership’s chance to lay out its stall on economic reform. In the past similar gatherings have shaken the world…
Central Committee on display

In recent years China’s growth has slowed significantly to under 8%—and were it not for a timely fiscal stimulus would be slower still. Some of the slowdown is inevitable…

Will Mr Xi rise to the occasion?… Perhaps, like aristocrats everywhere, he feels free to break with established practices because it was people like him who established them…

The road map Mr Xi will submit to the third plenum has been months in the making. It draws on the advice of China’s ministries and the wider network of official research institutes and think-tanks…

China’s leaders set great store by gradualism… But gradualism is not the same as inertia. It has been many years since the last big changes. If China’s leaders wait another five or ten years to renew the momentum of reform, the consequences will take more than a long weekend to fix.

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