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China Needs to Learn How to Spin Better

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Much can happen in 48 hours, as Hollywood constantly reminds us. China’s leaders learned that the hard way last week, at the conclusion of the ponderously named Third Plenum of the 18th Communist Party Congress.

Put off by an almost comically vague initial communique, the Beijing confab was quickly derided as a giant “nothingburger.” Just two days later, however, after Chinese officials released a more detailed list of reforms, opinions swung wildly. Suddenly the plenum was hailed for producing some of the most significant proposals in decades -- everything from relaxing the one-child policy and abolishing labor camps, to giving farmers more control over their land, migrants more rights and services, and the market more of a role in disciplining state enterprises.