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Changes in Five-Year Plans' Economic Focus

1st Five-Year Plan (1953-1957)


According to the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s general line for the transition period, the first plan set the basic tasks as to: assemble all forces for industrial construction centered on 156 construction projects designed by the Soviet Union, and 694 large or medium sized construction projects; establish the foundation for socialist industrialization; develop socialist collective ownership to establish the foundation for agriculture and handicraft industries' socialist reform; include capitalist industry and commerce in various forms of state capitalism to set up the foundation for privately owned enterprises' socialist reform.


2nd Five-Year Plan (1958-1962)


1) Continue industrial construction with heavy industry at its core, advance technical improvement of the economy, and establish a firm foundation for socialist industrialization; 2) Continue socialist reform, enhance and extend socialist collective ownership and public ownership; 3) On the base of infrastructure development and socialist reform, further develop industrial production, agriculture and handicrafts, as well as transportation and commerce; 4) Strive to train constructive talent, reinforce scientific research to meet the demands of the socialist economy and cultural development; 5) Under the precondition of growth in industrial and agricultural production, strengthen national defense and improve people's material and cultural life.


3rd Five-Year Plan (1966-1970)


1) Spare no effort to develop agriculture, solve problems concerning people's food, clothing and other basic needs; 2) Strengthen national defense, endeavor to make breakthroughs in technology; 3) In order to support agriculture and strengthen national defense, enhance infrastructure, continue to improve the production quality, increase production variety and quantity, building the country's economy on self-reliance, and develop transportation, commerce, culture, education and scientific research.


The 3rd Five-year Plan also asked the nation to prioritize national defense in consideration of a possible big war, actively preparing for conflicts and speeding up construction along the nation's three most important frontlines (referring to national defense, science and technology, and industry and transport infrastructure).


4th Five-Year Plan (1971-1975)


Ensure the average annual growth rate of gross output value of industry and agriculture can reach 12.5 percent. With 130 billion yuan budgeted for infrastructure construction, grain output should reach 300-325 billion kg, cotton output 65-70 million piculs (1 picul is 60 kg), steel output 35-40 million tons, coal 400-430 million tons, electricity 200-220 billion kWh, railway freight 900 million-1 billion tons.


5th Five-Year Plan (1976-1980)


Goals: by 1985, steel and petroleum outputs should reach 60 and 250 million tons respectively, and 120 large projects, including 10 steel production bases, 9 non-ferrous metal bases, 8 coal bases and 10 oil and gas fields, should be built.


To achieve these goals, the government would invest 70 billion yuan in infrastructure construction, equaling total national investment in the previous 28 years. As this was impossible, soon after the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee, the central authorities put forward new principles of readjustment, reform, rectification and improvement in April 1979 and started rectifying the economy.


6th Five-Year Plan (1981-1985)


Continue to enforce the principles of readjustment, reform, rectification and improvement, further resolve various issues against economic development left unsolved from past years.


7th Five-Year Plan (1986-1990)


1) Further create good economic and social environments for economic reform, make efforts to guarantee the general balance between total social demand and total social supply, let reforms proceed smoothly, and try to lay the groundwork for the new socialist economic system with Chinese characteristics; 2) Make economic growth continuous and stable, and under the precondition of proper control over total input in fixed assets, spare no effort to enhance key constructions, technological improvement and intelligence development, preparing for the ongoing development of economy and society. 3) While boosting economic growth and benefits, keep improving people's lives.


8th Five-Year Plan (1991-1995)


During this period, China's reform, opening-up and modernization reached a new stage, with GNP reaching 5,760 billion yuan in 1995, about five years ahead of target.


9th Five-Year Plan (1996-2000)


Accomplish the second strategic phase of modernization and reduce poverty. Speed up establishment of a modern enterprise system, and build the socialist market economic system; the main objectives of national economic and social development by 2010 were to double 2000’s GNP and so people could lead a richer life.


10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005)


The major anticipated objectives of macro-control during this plan were: economic growth rate of 7 percent per year, GDP to reach 12.5 trillion yuan by 2000 prices, and per capita GDP to reach 9,400 yuan. New jobs amongst town and rural migrant laborers number 40 million, and urban registered unemployment is controlled at 5 percent. The general price level should stay steady, and the balance of international payments maintained.


The major anticipated objectives of economic structural adjustments were to optimize and upgrade industrial structures and strengthen world competitiveness. By 2005, the added value of primary, secondary and tertiary industries in GDP should be 13, 51 and 36 percent respectively, while their share of employment should be 44, 23 and 33 percent. Levels of economic and social informatization should be enhanced and infrastructure further improved. The trend of widening development gaps between regions should be effectively controlled and levels of urbanization raised.


11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010)


Build new socialist rural areas, optimize and upgrade industrial structures, promote concordant development of regions, build a conservation-minded and environment-friendly society, further system reform and enhance opening-up, efficiently practice strategies to invigorate China through science and education and through human resource development, and give impetus to constructing a socialist harmonious society.


(China.org.cn by Zhang Rui, November 9, 2005)

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