CHINA'S NEW LEADERS READY TO TAKE CHARGE
Two-week conclave to set framework for the new era
Asia Sentinel, February 26, 2013
On March 5, thousands of delegates will arrive in Beijing for the two-week dual Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress and the National Political Conference to formulate the policies that are designed to govern the country for the next year under its new leadership, headed by Xi Jinping and Premier Le Keqiang.
After a decade of relative policymaking quietus under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, the new leadership is testing out new ideas and attempting to make progress on cleaning up the country's endemic corruption. Some 27 top party officials were arrested and charged in the early days following the selection of Xi and Le, raising concerns among the cadres that the two were going too far too fast, to the point where their anti-corruption campaign could lead to party chaos and even hold back the A-share market, with the Ministry of Commerce reporting sharp declines in consumption at high-end dining venues, liquors and business gifts during the lunar holiday period.
This year's NPC agenda includes considering restructuring the State Council and scrutinizing and approving development plans. Some of these tasks, particularly restructuring, are expected to be challenging because of the presence of vested interests whose positions would inevitably be threatened by reform and it is questionable if they can be pushed very dramatically.
(...) [article here]