At a press conference in Beijing on Monday, Ma Kai, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), highlighted some of the key points of interest of the 11th Five-Year Development Guidelines (2006-2010), which is now under discussion during the ongoing Fourth Plenary Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC).
Minister Ma stressed that the Guidelines not only follow in the spirit of previous five-year plans, they have been developed in line with the current situation. The following are the key points raised by Ma.
- They adopt the strategic concepts of the "Scientific Approach to Development" and "Constructing a Harmonious Socialist Society."
- The goals set in the Guidelines reflect a keener attention to the issues of humanity, society and the environment, as well as the economy. And for the first time, the development index has been set to "expected" and "restricted to."
- A primary goal set out in the Guidelines is the building of a new socialist countryside.
- Although the structure of industry must be further developed and strengthened, the focus is on strength, not scale.
- Also for the first time, efforts are to be made to strengthen the service industries. This is as a result of weakly developed tertiary industry, which has had a negative impact on the overall structure of industry, job opportunities and comprehensive competitiveness.
- The Guidelines also clearly define the concepts of optimized development, key development, restrictive development and forbidden development.
- With regard to the relationship between man and the environment, the Guidelines include two of the basic national policies, namely energy-saving and environmental protection.
- Self-innovation and the training of talent are also prominent in the Guidelines.
- The Guidelines relate not only to development but also to reform. Two chapters are devoted to the aims of both further reform and opening up. In addition, specific areas of reform are expounded in separate chapters on rural development, science and education undertakings as well as the construction of a harmonious society.
- Based on an all-around development strategy of economic growth, construction of a political civilization, cultural and social construction, all definitions, aims, objectives and measures described in the Guidelines are centered on humanity.
The third chapter lists the indexes that relate to nine aspects of economic and social development, including two on economic growth, four on economic structure, eight on population, resources and environment issues, and eight on public services and standards of living.
A total of 39 appreciable goals are included in the Guidelines, Ma added.
He stressed that two of the indexes are termed "primary" and "representative." One is the index for GDP growth rate, which has a target of a 7.5 percent annual increase over the next five years.
The second is the index on energy consumption and pollution control, which is set to reflect the investment in energy and environmental protection and how that relates to GDP growth.
Ma emphasized that shortsighted interests should not be given priority over possible long-term damage.
"The quality and efficiency of a countrys economic growth can only be judged by taking both output and reinvestment into account," he said.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Rui and Wang Zhiyong, March 7, 2006)