Hailing Success of China’s Third Plenum

Editor’s note: The following is the transcript from Cheng Li’s interview with China Radio International about the outcome of China’s Third Plenary Meeting of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress.

Dr. Cheng Li, a renowned expert on China studies at the Brookings Institution, says the communique issued after the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee is encouraging. Detailed reform measures to be followed will accelerate the country’s economic and social transformation.

Our Washington correspondent Xiaohong has more.

Dr. Cheng Li says the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee is of historical significance as it had provided a roadmap for China’s economic reform in the next few years.

“It’s very much in line with President Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream. On one hand is the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. And at the same time, probably more important, is to promote middle class, allowing people from the lower class to move up to middle class.”

Dr. Li says, China is at a critical moment as the previous development model that heavily relied on export and cheap labor cost must be ended. Instead, the country is shifting towards developing innovative and services industries. The just-concluded third plenum and detailed measures to be announced in following weeks will great accelerate such a transformation. And the growing middle class will provide another strong boost.

He noticed that the communique issued after the meeting has stressed the decisive role of the market, indicating further opening-up and reforms in this sector. He is quite optimistic about the future.

“I do see this is a wonderful opportunity. This is another turning point in China’s economic development. If in the previous decade we did not see the expansion of the middle class, this is the beginning of another wave of private sector development. There is no question about that. Because party leadership embraced the idea. This is being seen as a mandate of Xi Jinping administration.”

Dr. Li adds, implementation of the reform measures will be key to the success of the transformation.

To hear the interview in its entirety, visit the CRI website here »