Monday, November 18, 2013

Some Monday reading

Just another manic Monday. I wish it was Sunday, cos that's my fun day. Or something.

I see gold is getting romanced in the bum by a chainsaw-wielding silverback gorilla this morning.

Now, the news, three articles only, all on China:

Sinocism - here's Bill Bishop's take on the Plenum:
The Party released the “decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms” on Friday, several days earlier than expected. A version leaked online early Friday, sending markets and pundits into a tizzy (as the Thursday Sinocism suggested might happen) because the the full document turned out to outline far more aggressive reforms than many expected (yours truly excepted) after the Tuesday communique.

The Decision is impressive and shows that the leadership is both aware of and committed to deep reforms. Friday’s exuberance however may be a bit overdone as the truly hard part is not the drafting but the implementation of changes that will affect interests throughout society. But at least Xi has clearly articulated resolve and vision for reform. That is huge progress, especially after the last few years. China still faces significant economic and social challenges, but lack of political will no longer appears to be one of them.

Center for Strategic and International Studies - China announces sweeping reform agenda at plenum. Some interpretation of the situation. Also:
Q1: Why was the initial press read of the plenum so far off?

A1: The miscue essentially reflects a poor understanding of the basic mechanics of CCP procedure and practice. As a general rule, plenums are not heavy on specifics. They usually set broad guidelines that, depending on the plenum’s particular focus, are then translated into more defined policy outcomes at a series of closed-door end-of-the-year meetings tasked with designing implementation. The media criticisms were based on the lack of detail contained in the plenum’s official communique, but the function of the communique is to describe in lofty terms the plenum’s achievements, not to provide explicit recommendations. Instead, the plenum’s “decision” or resolution, which trails the communique by several days when made public, usually contains more granular directives. This document often is kept secret, but, given this plenum's significance as the Xi administration’s first major policy conclave, the leadership clearly wanted to make a statement.

NY Times - success of Chinese leader's ambitious economic plan may rest on rural regions. No kidding!

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