Western-style political changes unlikely outcome of China gathering

Nov. 8, 2013 at 11:46 AM
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BEIJING, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Chinese leaders dispelled thoughts of Western-style political reform Friday, the eve of a Central Committee meeting on the president's economic blueprint.

On Saturday, members of China's Central Committee will meet to discuss President Xi Jinping's blueprint for the country's economy during a gathering known as the Third Plenum.

Potentially significant reforms are believed to be included in Xi's blueprint, including policies concerning taxes, land ownership, urbanization and clean governance, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

Yu Zhengsheng, a Politburo Standing Committee member, recently promised there would be "unprecedented" economic and social reforms that would transform China's economy and society, the Telegraph said.

However, a commentary published in the government-backed People's Daily Friday indicated Western-style political reform wouldn't be considered.

The article, written by the Communist Party's historical research unit, called on officials to reject the ideas of "hostile forces, at home and abroad" who had tried to diminish the party by advocating "the indiscriminate copying of the Western system."

Wang Zhengxu, deputy director of the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute, told the Telegraph he expected the plenum would consider issues such as "breaking up monopolies, allowing more private sector involvement, maybe even land reform," along with other clean government initiatives.

"Political reform will be part of the picture. But all reforms will be within the existing political framework," Wang said. "Introducing more competitive elections or allowing opposition parties -- that is out of the question."

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