Third Plenary Session's Biggest Challenge:
Fulfill the Chinese Dream
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
November 12, 2013
Summary: The CCP authorities must exclude those with vested interests. It must transform passivity into activity. But its reforms must be sequential and progressive. It must use its limited resources and capabilities to maximum advantage. It must transform the Mainland into a comprehensive, well to do society. It must join the Chinese dream with the realities of life. This is the biggest challenge faced by the Xi Li regime. It must not imitate the KMT's empty slogans, big talk, and evasions.
Full text below:
The KMT just held its 19th National Party Congress. Its theme was party unity. When Party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou took office he delivered a speech entitled, "Strive to reform and improve. Unity will make us stronger." He called for party unity, for revisions to the party constitution, and for provisions enabling the President to serve as party chairman. These confirmed that the KMT has only one "sun," i.e., leader. Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung used the "Zhong Li Ji Nian Ge" and the song lyric "Do not weaken unity, do not lose faith" to inspire people. Honorary Chairman Lien Chan delivered a written speech that stressed "unity in our spirit, unity in our ideas, unity in our hearts, unity in our convictions, unity in our goals, unity in our ideals."
If the KMT can actually unite, it should be able to restore party morale. The KMT must clear up its own confusion. It must dispel the impression that the KMT seeks only power. This will help the Kuomintang govern. It will increase voter confidence and enable the KMT to remain in office and continue to improve cross-Strait relations. Alas, the KMT has long been afraid of public battles. It has always preferred internecine backbiting. Few people are optimistic about such a prospect.
The Chinese Communist Party is holding its 18th National Congress. It is scheduled to adjourn today. The First Plenary Session recognized the party as the nation's highest leader. The Second Plenary Session elected the nation's leaders and the leaders of the National Committee of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference. The Third Plenary Session determined the primary governing strategy for the new leadership. This is why the Third Plenary Session has received such widespread attention. Consider recent CCP developments. In 1978 the 11th Third Plenary Session established a policy of reform and opening up to the outside world. It set a clear direction for future decades. In 1993, the 14th Third Plenary Session further affirmed its support for a market economy. This eventually led to the Mainland joining the World Trade Organization and to its full integration into the international community. Its overall national strength has improved. Today, the Mainland has become the world's second largest economy. It has become one of the biggest beneficiaries of globalization. But the Mainland's economic development has also produced many negative side effects. Many dangerous conflicts in society have been building up. Everyone looks forward to further reforms.
According to official Mainland media reports, the focus of the plenary session is how to deepen reform. The media gave special mention to five topics: economics, politics, society, culture, and the environment. They even mentioned a "383 Reform Plan" that has outsiders guessing about its significance. But overall everyone has emphasized that under Xi Jinping "The range of reforms is wide, and the degree of the reforms is unprecedented." This is the institutional blueprint for the Xi Li regime. It will affect more than just the next 10 years. It will affect the Mainland's direction for a much longer period of time. Everyone is concerned. Different countries and the international media may have different concerns. But they all understand that this is a huge undertaking. Many obstacles and vested interests will stand in the way. But people still look to the CCP to adopt a responsible attitude, and a rational and progressive approach. They hope the CCP will gradually take steps to narrow the wealth gap, implement the rule of law, pursue social justice, punish corruption, improve the standard of living, and protect the environment.
In fact, Mainland reforms are in a race against time. All Beijing can do is constantly move forward without panicking. This is no easy task. That is why the Mainland has repeatedly stressed that Beijing needs a stable international and domestic environment in which to pursue rapid or reasonably rapid economic growth. It must use this hard won time to solve a variety of domestic problems.
This involves both long-term strategy and short-term survival requirements.
From Taiwan's point of view, we are pleased that the Mainland is expanding the scope of its reforms and liberalization. We are pleased that the Mainland understands the difficulty and the risk. Some advocates of reform say the key is liberalization and competitiveness. This contains some truth. The maintenance of stability is not an excuse for resisting or delaying reforms. The CCP authorities must exclude those with vested interests. It must transform passivity into activity. But its reforms must be sequential and progressive. It must use its limited resources and capabilities to maximum advantage. It must grasp the key points. It must change from a management-oriented government to a service-oriented government. It must respond to public expectations. It must improve the rule of law. It must provide housing, health, education, and a public census. It must satisfy the public's modest but reasonable expectations of social security. It must transform the Mainland into a comprehensive, well to do society. It must join the Chinese dream with the realities of life. This is the biggest challenge faced by the Xi Li regime. It must not imitate the KMT's empty slogans, big talk, and evasions.
中國時報 本報訊 2013年11月12日 04:09