Beidaihe meeting reportedly cancelled

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-6 0:33:01

Move will help improve transparency in decision-making

Chinese leaders may not be meeting at Beidaihe resort in North China's Hebei Province this year, a news periodical affiliated with the Xinhua News Agency said on Wednesday, amid speculation over the theme of this year's meeting.

Analysts said that the cancellation of summer retreat, if confirmed, could signal a progress in transparency of China's decision-making process.

Top leaders have stopped working in Beidaihe during summer since 2003 and it is irrational to hold a meeting at a tourism spot under the current emphasis on promoting frugality, the Economy & Nation Weekly reported.

"As China promotes transparency and standardization of the political process, Beidaihe will no longer be known as a mysterious retreat resort. It will return to be a rare health resort in North China," it said.

Beidaihe is a seaside resort about 300 kilometers east of Beijing.

Traditionally every summer around July and August, the Communist Party of China (CPC) leaders would hold meetings in a more relaxed setting and set the tone for the nation's major policies.

"The Beidaihe meeting began to receive increasing attention due to some major decisions made in the past," Cai Zhiqiang, a professor  with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the Global Times.

Cai added that he has not received any information on whether the Beidaihe meeting will be held this year.

Earlier media reports had speculated that a mid-term economic plan to figure out China's next step would be discussed at this year's meeting.

The Hong Kong Economic Times quoted an anonymous Beijing-based source as saying that this year's meeting would focus on the country's 13th Five-Year Plan, a set of guidelines for China's economic development in the next five years.

So far, there have been no official reports about this year's Beidaihe meeting or its agenda.

The Xinhua report added that two Political Bureua meetings were held on July 20 and 30, "which is unusual."

"Key topics including the 13th Five-Year Plan and anti-corruption have been discussed. Is it necessary and possible to travel to Beidaihe to repeat the discussion?" it said.

"The Beidaihe meeting is sometimes considered as mysterious, which is not in accord with the goal to establish governance based on transparency and legalization," said Hu Xingdou, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology.

If the meeting is indeed cancelled, it will be regarded as a move to improve the political system since all national issues should be discussed in an open and formal way, said Hu.
Newspaper headline: Beidaihe meeting may be cancelled

Posted in: Politics, China Watch

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