Thursday, 6th March 2014
China: How Far Will the NPC Go in Implementing Reform?
Source: European Council on Foreign Relations
The annual meeting of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) opens on 5 March, and this year, there is far less speculation about the event than there has been in previous years. It is easy to see why expectations are low. Just a few months ago, the party announced a long list of reforms. But, reading the fine print of the 60-point “Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms”, almost 200 reforms were proposed by the Central Committee at the Third Plenum in November 2013. How could the government possibly announce more?
Moreover, Xi Jinping’s mandate at the helm of the Communist Party and the state has asphyxiated the contentious debates of the last few years. And his vigorous anti-corruption campaign has engendered real fear among China’s officials. Right now, it is ensnaring just about every known relative of Zhou Yongkang, a former Standing Committee member who once wielded fearsome authority at the head of China’s domestic security agencies.
But Xi is not omnipotent: environmental pollution has reached unbearable levels in Beijing and the Northern Plains. And the country has just been hit by an extremely audacious act of terrorism, killing 29 people and injuring 109 in Kunming. People in China are talking less about Xi’s long-term goals or orientation than about his actual capacity to implement the reforms put forward in November 2013.
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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.
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