Reform proposal signals govt determination

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-10-30 1:23:00

The "383" reform plan proposed by the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRCSC) has received extraordinary attention, affecting even the stock market. The plan is named based on its content, which includes three broad ideas for overhauls, eight major areas of reform and three related areas for change. It's a detailed road map of reform released by a central think tank before the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee.

No think tank could dominate decision-making of the central government but DRCSC undoubtedly is among the most influential ones in the field of reform policymaking. The "383" plan boldly proposed areas of reform such as administrative examination, anti-corruption and both the land and financial systems. Its significance shouldn't be underestimated no matter how much of the proposal will be adopted by the central government.

The road map reflects the strong desire and resolution for reform held by all think tanks in China. Since think tanks are closely tied to the decision-makers, they are serious in contemplation and investigation.

The plan also embodies opinions at the grass-roots level, as some of its propositions can be found online. The official think tanks, as well as governments themselves, have changed in work attitude and methods, with actively responding to public opinion one of the foundations of policymaking.

The "383" plan, with its broad areas of reform proposed for top leadership's consideration, implies that the central government is thinking over a thorough overhaul rather than minor repairs.

However, the plan doesn't get full credit. For instance, great controversy was stirred up over the proposition on setting up a "clean pension" system. Public opinion about reform is complicated, and where populism is at its pickiest. Some also hold that the 383 plan is not profound as the political system is untouched. The public will always come up with new and more radical requirements on reform.

The upcoming third plenary session will finalize China's new reform plan. There are varied assumptions concerning the content of reform. Some propositions that are less likely to be adopted or on behalf of interests of a small group are amplified in public opinion, with the aim of manipulating public opinion to force change.

China's new leadership have ­reiterated the significance of further deepening reform from different perspectives since the 18th National Congress of the CPC last November. The country has paved way to initiate new reforms.

The new reforms will respond to the demands of the public, but will never deliberately woo or be constrained by online opinions. New controversy is unavoidable. How to assess the reform depends on the feelings of the majority and the changes it will bring to China rather than applause on the Internet.

Posted in: Editorial

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