by Bill O’Grady & Kaisa Stucke
A twice yearly meeting of the Chinese government officials, formally known as the third plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, started on Saturday and will end tomorrow.
Officials have indicated that this plenary session could be a springboard for major reforms. In fact, Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping has indicated that this session could be as consequential as the plenary session in 1978 which introduced policies that set in motion the Chinese growth engine. The 1978 meeting was a significant turning point for both the country and the Communist Party itself.
This week, we are going to take a closer look at the changes from the plenary session 35 years ago, the circumstances leading up to the session and how China changed following the meeting. In understanding the changes associated with the 1978 meeting, we can better assess the statement that this week’s meeting could be just as significant.