China's new Five-Year Guidelines for National Economic and
Social Development (2006-2010), to be ratified by the Fourth
Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), have embodied
the opportunities as well as challenges for China's central
In his government work report on Sunday, Premier Wen Jiabao said
the international environment will be conducive to China's
development in the coming five years, but there are many
"Domestically, there are many favorable conditions as well as a
number of restraining factors and difficulties," Wen said.
These have been interpreted by observers as opportunities and
challenges for the central leadership.
"The coming five years will be a golden opportunity for the
central leadership to lead the Chinese people toward prosperity and
will test its governance capacity as well," said Xia Xueluan, a
professor of sociology at Peking University.
A 90-page draft of the 11th Five-Year Development Guidelines, to
be deliberated and ratified by nearly 3,000 lawmakers, is the most
eye-catching part of the annual parliament session.
"By submitting the draft to the parliament for deliberation and
ratification, it is hoped the top legislature will endorse the
basic state policy the central leadership has proposed under the
new situation," said Prof. Bai Gang, a member of the National
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(CPPCC), the top advisory body.
The move is designed to ensure China's reform and opening-up and
it will be pushed ahead smoothly under a projected goal, said Bai,
a political science researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social
Observers in Beijing say the plan is a milestone, or a new
beginning, in China's economic and social development, as the
period of the 11th Five-Year Development Guidelines will be a
crucial time in building a moderately prosperous society across the
While domestic media have compared the Guidelines to another big
move following the household contract responsibility system
introduced to the Chinese countryside in the 1980s and the
socialist market economy of the 1990s, the international community
has also expressed optimism, saying the plan heralds a major shift
in the ruling party's policy toward green GDP and sustainable
Some international observers, however, also voiced concern over
China's fast-growing economy, heavy energy consumption and wide gap
between the rich and the poor.
These have been included in Wen's report as issues to be tackled
in the coming five years, alongside goals to improve the country's
economic structure, innovation capacity and growth pattern, curb
pollution, create more jobs, balance investment and consumption,
reduce income gap and bolster public welfare.
"We should seize opportunities, exploit favorable conditions
while avoiding dangers, remain vigilant against adversity, properly
handle risks and challenges, and press ahead with reform and
opening up and the modernization drive," Wen said in the
(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2006)