“The Leadership determines the success of a third plenum. Leadership is not only about formulating new economic policies but also implementing them. For instance, the 1993 third plenum was a landmark, not just because a new concept – a socialist market economy – was coined. More importantly, most of the reform measures mentioned in the conference were implemented by then vice premier Zhu Rongji, ranging from budgeting, taxes and the exchange rate to state-owned enterprises and foreign trade reforms. The series of reforms laid the foundation for China’s economic miracle over the next 20 years and still influence today’s discussions on economic reform.
In comparison, the third plenum in 2003 was a disappointment. The scope and the depth of policies discussed in the conference’s report were both excellent, but most of them were not realized. And the government’s policy reaction to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis is now deemed a major step backward in China’s development toward becoming a market economy.”
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