Liu Yuanchun, economics professor at Renmin University of China, also warned against expecting too much from the Third Plenary Session. “It cannot be an overnight clear-up move; it’s definitely a slow, gradual process,” he said.
Last month, Xi told a gathering of officials in Wuhan in central China that the country needed to “break the barriers from entrenched interest groups.” That, said Wang Yukai, a professor from the Chinese Academy of Governance, was evidence that Xi remained committed to change.
“Leaders don’t say things like this for nothing,” Wang said. “It shows they are still determined to reform, even when the reform met strong barriers.”
Zhang, the researcher at the State Information Center, said she had been involved in drawing up some of the economic plans and expected a series of measures to be unveiled later this year.
“Premier Li Keqiang is not a hothead, he is prudent man,” she said. “The central government has to start reforms at the right moment, and they also need to consider stability.”
Recent economic data have calmed fears of a dramatic economic slowdown, with a survey of manufacturer sentiment in August released Thursday showing orders rebounding. That may buy Xi and Li some time as they try to their fellow party bigwigs of the need to move forward.
But Kroeber of the Dragonomics research firm said the two still need to set out a clearer vision of how they intend to proceed. “They don’t have to do major surgery,” he said. “They have a decent economic environment to work in. It is not like they have to do everything very quickly, but they do have to get moving in the right direction, in a fairly decisive way, fairly soon.”
Liu Liu contributed to this report.