Xinhua Insight: Why China's 13th Five-Year Plan deserves attention

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 04, 2016
Adjust font size:

China's draft 13th Five-Year Plan,a strategic blueprint crucial for every Chinese and significant forthe rest of the world, will be reviewed at the annual session ofthe national legislature, which will open Saturday.

The roadmap will outline the policyframework, priorities and clear economic and social goals, servingas a fundamental guide to China's development in the coming fiveyears.

It is set to embody the rulingCommunist Party of China's (CPC) new concepts, with innovationforemost in strategies for a balanced, coordinated and sustainablegrowth pattern.

This is the first Five-Year Plandrafted under the current Chinese leadership, and also the firstsince China's economy entered what policymakers refer to as the"new normal," a phase of moderating growth based more onconsumption than the previous mainstay of exports.

The plan's significance also liesin the fact that the Chinese economy, the world's second largest,is still facing downward pressure and undergoing structural reformsamid fragile global recovery, after its 2015 expansion of 6.9percent, the slowest in a quarter of a century.

And the strategic guideline marksthe final countdown to the goal of building a moderately prosperoussociety by the centennial anniversary of the founding of the CPC in2021. The ambitious target means doubling GDP and per capita incomein 2020 from the levels of 2010. Seventy million people need to belifted out of poverty.

Based on extensive research,seminars, public opinions and expertise, the program will unveilgrowth expectations in the vital 2016-2020 period for China's10-trillion-U.S.-dollar economy, and ways to meet them.

Five-year plans play a navigatingrole in ensuring the huge Chinese vessel sails to the expecteddestination.

"In the past, the plans focused onmicroeconomic intervention. But now, they focus on formulatingmacroeconomic indices and also planning concerning people'slivelihoods and public affairs," said Yan Yilong, assistantprofessor in public policy research at Tsinghua University.

Under the market economy, five-yearplans play a supplementary role to the market and guide industrialrestructuring in which enterprises are major participants, Yansaid, adding such forecasting can help manage publicexpectations.

China's first Five-Year Plan wasimplemented in 1953. With the plans, China's economy maintainedmiraculous growth in the three decades after the reform andopening-up policy in the late 1970s.

As China is pushing forward thebuilding of the socialist market economy, some doubt whether the13th Five-Year Plan is necessary, regarding it as a legacy of theplanned economy.

"Long-range plans are ways tocommunicate to every citizen what the nation's goals are and whateach person needs to do in order to achieve them," said ShlomoMaital, a senior researcher with Technion-Israel Institute ofTechnology.

Leading global businesses havelong-range strategic plans -- why should countries not have them?After all, a country is a business, he said. "I think othercountries have much to learn from China's planning process."

As Western economists mock China'sfive-year plans as examples of Soviet-era planning, they may wantto reflect on lessons drawn from the 2008 global financial crisis,largely blamed on laissez-faire capitalism, said theresearcher.

According to Yan, the socialistsystem's combination of market forces and government supervisionthrough the Five-Year Plan makes it superior to the capitalistalternative.

"Many Western countries do not havesuch a plan and even if they have, it is more of a desire, givenpartisan bargaining. But China has a set of mechanisms to pushimplementation," he said.

As the 12th Five-Year Planconcluded with all major targets met, the 13th Five-Year Plan isset to make comprehensive reform arrangements in fields includingfinance, justice and opening up, and to establish binding targetsfor improving public services and protecting the environment.

"Having binding targets will drivethe Chinese government to meet its promises and better perform itsduty to realize social fairness," said Ding Yuanzhu, a policyconsultant at the Chinese Academy of Governance.

The next five years will becharacterized by innovation, coordination, care for theenvironment, opening to the world, and the sharing economy, withmedium-high growth and industrial upgrading the two majorgoals.

Cutting red tape and instigatingbold, market-oriented reforms in sectors dominated by state-ownedenterprises are likely to create a more favorable businessenvironment for both domestic and foreign firms.

Over the next five years, pursuingcommon, international development, China will become moreeconomically integrated with the outside world through the Belt andRoad Initiative, free trade zones, and the internationalization ofits currency, the yuan. Endi

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from