Party’s Agenda in China Seems to Fall Flat

The New York Times reports on what didn’t happen at this year’s recently-concluded Party plenum:

China’s Communist Party elite had billed its four-day strategy session as an attack on “acute problems” that threatened the party’s political standing, like official , China’s yawning gap between the rich and poor, and the lack of within the party’s own ranks.

But besides an anticorruption directive that would force officials and their families to disclose their property holdings and investments, initial reports from the meeting last week suggested that the Central Committee’s members either were reluctant to make major changes, or disagreed over how those changes might be made.

State news media reports of communiqués issued Friday and Saturday, after the Central Committee and subcommittee meetings ended, said little that differed from past policy sessions on the need for party democracy, which had been cast as the major theme of the session.

See also “Doubts emerge about Beijing’s succession plan” from the Financial Times and “Chinese puzzle: who is Hu’s heir?” from The Age about the failure of the plenum to nominate Xi Jinping to the Central Military Commision, thus casting his anticipated role as Hu Jintao’s heir apparent in doubt.

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