-- China is aiming at sustained and healthy economic development on the basis of a marked improvement in quality and efficiency.
-- Compared with the previous five-year plan, which had maintaining medium-high growth as its target, the blueprint for the 2021-2025 period has put more emphasis on innovation, domestic demand and the quality of development.
-- Deeper involvement in international circulation is an integral part of China's efforts to establish a new development pattern.
-- Carbon intensity target is expected to be set for 2021-2025 in accordance with the carbon emission targets, and specific plans will be drawn up to tackle climate change.
by Xinhua writers Chen Yongrong, Wang Wen, Han Xiao, Xie Hao and Ni Yuanjin
BEIJING, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- With a new blueprint outlined for the next five years and beyond, China is now preparing to march toward a new stage of development amid an increasingly complex world.
China is aiming at sustained and healthy economic development on the basis of a marked improvement in quality and efficiency, according to a communique released Thursday after the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
The session adopted the Party leadership's proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035.
Compared with the previous five-year plan, which had maintaining medium-high growth as its target, the blueprint for the 2021-2025 period has put more emphasis on innovation, domestic demand and the quality of development.
Staff members promote imported products via livestreaming at Hongqiao Imported Commodity Exhibition and Trade Center in Shanghai, east China, June 5, 2020. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
NEW DEVELOPMENT PATTERN
To this end, a new "dual circulation" development pattern, where domestic and foreign markets can boost each other with the domestic market as the mainstay, has been introduced as one of the priorities for the next five years.
Despite external complexities and challenges, the decision to shift to the new pattern has been a long-term strategy instead of an expedient measure, according to Han Wenxiu, an official of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs.
Han said expanding domestic demand will be a pivot for the new development pattern, and efforts will be made to improve economic circulation, and remove choke points in production, distribution and consumption.
"This will promote the domestic economy and create greater market opportunities for the rest of the world," he told a press conference Friday.
With its gross domestic product (GDP) expected to exceed 100 trillion yuan (about 14.87 trillion U.S. dollars) this year, China aims to bring the GDP per capita to the level of moderately developed countries by 2035.
Central to the new pattern is a focus on technological innovation, as China has aimed at a marked improvement in innovation capacity, as well as an upgrade in the industrial base and further modernization of the industrial chain.
Huang Yiping, chairman of the CF40 Academic Committee, strongly agrees with such emphasis. "Innovation is the only way to relieve pressure from rising production costs and sustain growth in the years to come," he told Xinhua.
In spite of the great economic shock, the COVID-19 epidemic has somehow accelerated China's progress in innovation, according to a Goldman Sachs report, which noted that greater awareness about social distancing has already prompted economic activities to move online.
The investment bank said it expects investment in the new infrastructure sector, including 5G networks and big data centers, to reach 15 trillion yuan between 2020 and 2025, with the manufacturing sector likely to see a 5 trillion yuan annual reduction in production costs from 2025.
Photo taken on Sept. 5, 2020 shows a view of the 5G communication services exhibition area of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Zhang Chenlin)
HIGH-LEVEL OPENING UP
Allaying worries that fostering the new development pattern will produce a closed domestic loop, Han told the press that deeper involvement in international circulation is an integral part of China's efforts to establish a new development pattern.
With the system of fair competition to be further improved, China will basically form the new institutions of a higher-level open economy, according to the communique on Thursday.
"This is a clear message that there is no change to the opening-up policy," commented Huang, who particularly praised China's progress in financial opening up, which in face of an increasingly complicated external environment, has accelerated instead of slowing down.
Huang said he expects the higher-level open economy to be built in three ways: a full-scale opening up instead of regional experiments, improved openness in both trade and investment, as well as enhanced institutional and rule alignment with the external market.
A research note by Bloomberg also maintained that an emphasis on encouraging domestic circulation would not signal that China is closing its doors on the world. The note expected the new five-year plan to encourage two-way trade and promote services trade.
Meanwhile, Wang Zhigang, minister of science and technology, stressed that China also remains open in terms of scientific innovation.
On one hand, the country will strengthen independent innovation capabilities, and on the other hand it will learn from other nations' developed experiences and share its own scientific achievements, he said.
"China is willing to engage in dialogue and exchange with other countries on science and technology policy, development planning, research ethics and areas of common concern in science, technology and innovation," Wang said.
Aerial photo taken on Sept. 4, 2020 shows the scenery of a lake in Jianfengling nature reserve at Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park in south China's Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)
STEERING TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY
As it targets quality growth, green and low-carbon development has also been high on China's agenda, with the country planning to continuously improve the environment as well as the quality and stability of ecosystems, and raise the efficiency of resource utilization.
The arrangements are in line with the country's aim to reach CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, a concrete step to tackle global climate change.
Carbon intensity target is expected to be set for 2021-2025 in accordance with the carbon emission targets, and specific plans will be drawn up to tackle climate change, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.
"The commitment of the world to tackling climate change will depend on what China does in the coming months and years," said Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
This influence is even greater than is implied by China's size, as it comes also from its technologies, strategies and leadership in coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, said Stern in a co-authored publication.
He said China has a great opportunity to show how recovery measures can also accelerate the transition to the inevitable low-carbon economy.
Zou Ji, president of Energy Foundation China, said the carbon neutrality goal will essentially decide the future path and prospects of the Chinese economy, triggering radical changes to the domestic economic structure.
On the energy front, Zou said he expects a drastic increase in the share of non-fossil fuels in China's energy consumption, which will have a great significance for its energy security.
(Video editor: Zhou Saang)■