By RONG REN
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – It’s official! The Seventh Plenary Session of the outgoing 17th Central Committee will be “even bigger, better and bolder than ever before,” according to early reports.
“This year’s plenary session will be so off-the-hook, I can scarcely wait to create a precise flower arrangement suitably honoring it,” wrote one giddy netizen.
And it’s not just a fan talking about it – officials are excited, too.
“This plenum will surely be the best plenum yet,” insisted plenum spokesman Le Keqiang, who added that he was looking forward to this year’s plenum – scheduled, as usual, for sometime in September, October, November, December or perhaps next year – “with tension.”
But the new plenum has not been without its controversy.
Political turmoil earlier this year saw the shock downfall of Chongqing politician Bo Xilai and his allies, sparking a major leadership split.
Meanwhile, organizers have had to contend with complaints from some critics that last year’s line-up was “flat and inspiring.”
Especially disappointing was said to have been a lackluster vocal performance from the Rural Social Development Panel, led by rising right-wing star Ling Bo, 58.
“They played the usual set without any gusto… it was the same old stuff: reform the household registration system, raise agrarian living standards, yak, yak, yak,” grumbled long-time social-reform advocate Zhu Yipeng, 49.
“Their new material – things about controlling the housing market and capping inflation – seemed derivative to the press and didn’t really get much love from fans, either.”
But a draft version of the line-up for the 17th Central Committee’s final plenum suggests that officials have taken those earlier criticisms seriously.
Late Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang’s widow, an endearingly popular presence, has been drafted in to open the talks.
Meanwhile, headlining the second day is Peng Liyuan (pictured, left), the popular folk-singer wife of the expected incoming President Xi Jinping.
The famed soprano, who holds the rock ’n roll rank of general in the army, is said to have a talent for reading crowds, Tang poetry and her husband’s email.
Peng is also particularly well-known for her hugely distracting costumes on stage.
Her syrupy set will feature a pre-approved playlist of “blisteringly mild reformist rhetoric and some nostalgic, leftist classics for the oldsters,” according to insiders.
On paper, at least, the eagerly awaited Seventh Plenum is poised to provide a guideline document for China’s continuing reform and opening-up process, as the blueprint of ongoing socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics– but, experts say, most people just go along to rock out and get messy.
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