The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) (中国共产党第十八次全国代表大会) is considered a significant plenary meeting for China’s ongoing reform and critical in the Party’s top leadership transition. The congress elected a new CPC Central Committee and a new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
The congress last from Nov. 8 to Nov. 14, 2012. It highlighted China’s policies of reform and opening-up, a process that was initiated by Deng Xiaoping, China’s late statesman considered to be the architect for the country’s market economy.
A series of outlines concerning the country’s economy, legislation, military and political guidelines have been issued prior to the meeting.
In accordance with The 12th Five-Year Plan passed at the fifth plenary meeting of the 17th CPC Central Committee on Oct. 18, 2010, the country has highlighted its commitment to accelerate ongoing reforms.
Domestic economists, including Wu Jinglian and Yi Xianrong, have spoken repeatedly on the importance of restructuring the national economy. In addition, the lingering economic recession triggered by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and transmitted via Europe across the globe has pressured the country to seek economic solutions from its domestic market and consumers.
In addition to economic policies implemented to optimize the country’s reform and opening-up process, the Central Committee has also placed cultural development near the top of its agenda during the aforementioned fifth plenary meeting in hopes of encouraging sustainable reform.
The Central Committee also aims to promote innovation in cultural industries.
On Oct. 26, 2012, only days before the 18th CPC National Congress, the country passed a series of laws and amendments, including the much underscored mental health law aimed at protecting the rights of mentally sick patients.
The law prohibits any infringements upon the dignity, personal safety and property of the mentally handicapped and standardizes the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of mental health patients.
Top military reshuffle
Also on Oct. 26, 2012, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced a major reshuffle of its top leadership.
General (Gen) Fang Fenghui, Gen Zhang Yang, Gen Zhao Keshi and Gen Zhang Youxia were appointed as leaders of four key PLA departments—general staff, general political, general logistics and general armaments.