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Proposals set stage for bigger role in world

Pub Date:2020-11-02 08:20 Source:China Daily

Nation's plans for medium and longer term show clear direction, experts say

China's blueprint for its future development comes at a historic turning point in which the country is set to play a bigger role in the global economy, according to experts.

Their comments come after proposals for the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 were adopted by the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which concluded on Thursday.

Martin Jacques, a British academic and author, said the proposals showed that China has a clear road map for the future.

He said the world will be observing the proposals more closely than ever because of how China has handled the pandemic more successfully than many Western countries.

"The world was already familiar with China's economic competence. Now they know that China's governance can cope with the greatest of challenges," he said. "2020 is the year of 'The Great Transition' when the world will come to recognize China as the new global leader."

Edward Tse, CEO and founder of Gao Feng Advisory, a management consultancy, also believes the proposals for China's medium-and long-term growth show the country has a clear direction while many developed countries are now just "scrambling".

"I regard this as a historical turning point and what China is proposing will mean that it will play a more dominant role economically and politically in the world. I think as a result more countries will be willing to work with China, particularly from the emerging world," he said.

The communique issued at the end of the Fifth Plenary Session said the country would achieve an economy of 100 trillion yuan ($14.9 trillion) this year and that the focus over the next five years will be on the quality rather than the quantity of economic growth.

There will also be an emphasis on the domestic market in the new plan, according to the document.

China will adopt a "dual-circulation" development pattern under which factors such as domestic consumption and indigenous technological development will play as important a role in driving China's development as any engagement with the international economy.

Setting out goals for the next five as well as 15 years is a break from tradition. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, made 2035 an important staging post for the country in his report to the 19th CPC National Congress in October 2017.

By that time, China will aim to achieve major breakthroughs in key technologies such as advanced manufacturing, cyberspace and digital technology in order to become a global technological leader, according to the communique.

There will also be a focus on improving the environment to achieve a "Beautiful China" within this period.

The new five-year plan and the longer-range objectives through 2035 will be worked on and consulted upon over the next few months and be submitted to the National People's Congress, China's national legislature, for approval next year.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think tank, said the five-year plan was an important one because it is likely to steer China through the middle-income trap.

China was defined as an upper-middle-income country with a per capita income of $10,410 in 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The World Bank defines a high-income country as one with a per capita income above $12,056.

"Many countries, particularly from Latin America, have failed to make that breakthrough but China is putting the right policies in place such as the focus on higher quality growth," Wang said.

Stephen Roach, a leading US economist and senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, said the emphasis on domestic consumption was also important but that this should not be seen as just a defense against an uncertain international economic environment.

"With household consumption still less than 40 percent of China's GDP-the lowest such share of any major economy-a more aggressive push toward consumer-led rebalancing is long overdue," he said.


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