China’s 13th Five-Year Plan: Sustainability that Brings Opportunities for China and the World
Sustainability that Brings Opportunities for China and the World
THE eyes of the world were t ransfixed on China last March, and the discussions and reviews there of the comprehensive draft of the country’s 13th Five- Year Plan. Its landmark proposals, which the Communist Party of China ( CPC) raised at the end of October 2015, sparked much speculation. The plan was adopted during the annual “two sessions” – the National People’s Congress ( NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference ( CPPCC) – which convened respectively on March 3 and March 5, 2016 in Beijing.
The cornerstones of this draft, published in advance of the “two sessions,” polarized attention in the international community, especially among pundits harboring high expectations of these reforms. Geared to transforming and perfecting the Chinese economy and to achieving political and social modernization, they imply opportunities and advantages for both China and the world as a whole.
The planned transformation of China’s hitherto investment- and exportdriven economic system into a more sustainable and consumption-driven model is of particular interest. Researchers and entrepreneurs alike believe that this change will create a more balanced social structure and better living standards for the Chinese people.
More power to the market and less state investment, and more personal initiative and fewer state monopolies are, in a nutshell, the new concepts that Chinese leaders sought to implement in efforts to deepen reforms. China may now expand its opening-up, so generating a broad range of opportunities for investors from all over the world, not least Germany.
Periodical government consultations are just one feature of the longstanding close and trustful cooperation between China and Germany. The close ties between our two countries provide a solid basis for future development.
A brief glance at Chinese history helps our understanding of the magnitude of China’s progress.
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In 1953, four years after Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, the CPC’s first five- year plan was formulated in revolutionary China under the leadership of the late Premier Zhou Enlai and his deputy Chen Yun. At that time, the country was in the early throes of socialist restructuring.
The focus of the first phase of socialist industrialization was on developing the country’s heavy industry. As, in the 1950s, China was still a fundamentally agricultural economy, the aim was to establish a basis on which to industrialize and protect the nation.
In spite of these initial consolidation measures, economic difficulties nevertheless arose which “New China” needed to tackle. With the help of the former Soviet Union, however, the young country successfully implemented its first Five-Year Plan, and achieved impressive growth.
At that time, nobody dreamed China’s socio-economic development would be such a spectacular success story. Although in its early years the country was beset with difficulties and setbacks, the measures that Deng Xiaoping took in 1978 marked the eventual and crucial