Deepening reform in an all-round way concerns the overall work of the Party and the government, and is the requirement for building a moderately prosperous society, speeding up socialist modernization drive, developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, addressing prominent challenges in the development, and achieving sustainable, healthy development of the economy and society, said the statement….The meeting stressed that the Party must strengthen confidence in reform, head in the right direction, consolidate consensus, and coordinate all reforms.
At first glance that looks like some pretty bold language to deploy on such a sensitive topic. But China’s Communist Party often gestures at “reforms” without putting in real effort. There isn’t much detail in today’s statement, and no discussion of what kind of reforms might be actually be discussed. Still, the hints come at an important time. Bo Xilai’s trial, the prosecution of the highest ranking Party official in decades, just ended, and there have been suggestions that the trial didn’t go exactly as planned and that Bo still has many supporters across the country. Meanwhile, Party leaders are battling an economic slowdown and warnings of an out-of-control debt crisis. Perhaps they should be discussing the political and economic changes hinted at in today’s official statement; whether they ever will is another question.[Xi Jinping photo courtesy of Shutterstock]