THE 13TH FIVE-YEAR PLAN PE­RIOD: A DE­CI­SIVE STAGE

NEW BBC DOC­U­MEN­TARY TELLS CHINA’S HIS­TORY

China Today (English) - - FRONT PAGE - By HU ANGANG

WHAT is China’s blue­print for achiev­ing the goal of build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects by 2020, and how to im­ple­ment it? Dur­ing the Fourth Ses­sion of the 12th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Con­gress last March, Premier Li Ke­qiang of­fered a thor­ough ex­pla­na­tion when de­liv­er­ing the 2015 re­port on govern­ment work.

Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion var­i­ous sce­nar­ios over the next five years, both at home and abroad, the 13th FiveYear Plan ad­vances the main ob­jec­tives and in­di­ca­tors for China’s eco­nomic and so­cial devel­op­ment in the years lead­ing up to 2020. The com­pre­hen­sive blue­print was for­mu­lated in light of the needs of hu­man be­ings, aim­ing to pro­mote the peo­ple’s rounded devel­op­ment, and their com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment.

The blue­print’s main goals in­clude four cat­e­gories, namely: eco­nomic devel­op­ment (four goals, 16 per­cent of to­tal), in­no­va­tion (four, 16 per­cent), peo­ple’s well-be­ing (seven, 28 per­cent), and re­sources and en­vi­ron­ment (10, 33 per­cent).

These goals also demon­strate the res­o­lu­tion of all lev­els of gov­ern­ments to al­lo­cate pub­lic re­sources (in­clud­ing pub­lic fi­nance, pub­lic in­vest­ment, pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties, and pub­lic pol­icy mea­sures) in a ra­tio­nal way, to pro­vide pub­lic ser­vices, and ac­tively cul­ti­vate a mar­ket pre­sent­ing a congenial en­vi­ron­ment for in­vest­ment and busi­ness un­der the rule of law, and thereby to re­duce ex­trin­sic risks and costs.

The First Time: a Tar­get Zone

The av­er­age an­nual eco­nomic growth in the time frame of the new five-year plan is set at above 6.5 per­cent. It is a core goal of the plan, as well as act­ing as a weather vane for the coun­try’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment. The new blue­print for the first time changes the cus­tom­ary fixed growth rate goal to a tar­get zone. It in­di­cates the govern­ment’s sci­en­tific and ra­tio­nal think­ing, and also al­lows lee­way for fluc­tu­a­tions.

China’s econ­omy has sur­passed US $ 10 tril­lion in scale, and its in­te­gra­tion into the world econ­omy is now ex­ten­sive and deeply-rooted. These fac­tors in­ject even more com­plex­i­ties and un­cer­tain­ties into the coun­try, both at home and from abroad. Adopt­ing a tar­get zone it­self is an in­no­va­tion in the means of macroe­co­nomic con­trol. The “above 6.5 per­cent” tar­get will en­sure the dou­bling of GDP and in­come per capita of ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents in 2020 as against the 2010 level. This clear “bot­tom­line” sig­nals an ac­cu­rate mes­sage to the mar­ket and in­ter­na­tional so­ci­ety, as well as the re­solve to “race to the top” and at­tain seven per­cent growth.

To ac­cel­er­ate op­ti­miz­ing and up­grad­ing of the in­dus­trial struc­ture is a key fea­ture of the “new nor­mal” phase China’s econ­omy is cur­rently un­der­go­ing. As re­gards the three ma­jor in­dus­tries, the 13th Five-Year Plan aims to ex­pand the share of the ser­vice in­dus­try in GDP and em­ploy­ment in this sec­tor by some six per­cent­age points com­pared with the 2015 level, or up to 56 per­cent and 46.6 per­cent re­spec­tively. At the same time, agri­cul­tural em­ploy­ment is es­ti­mated to de­cline to around 23 per­cent. Agri­cul­tural mod­ern­iza­tion will be greatly boosted, how­ever, in or­der to con­struct a mod­ern agri­cul­tural man­age­ment sys­tem. The sta­tus of mod­ern man­u­fac­tur­ing and strate­gic emerg­ing in­dus­tries will like­wise rise. Ac­cord­ing to the plan, the fu­ture will see rapid devel­op­ment of new economies, new types of busi­ness and fron­tier ar­eas, as well as ex­pan­sion of the cy­ber-econ­omy. The plan also pledges to fa­cil­i­tate green in­dus­tries, and open up the mar­itime econ­omy.

The main task of the new plan is to im­prove la­bor pro­duc­tiv­ity per capita from RMB 87,000 to RMB 120,000, and reg­is­ter an av­er­age an­nual growth of over 6.6 per­cent. The five-year plan in­cludes this el­e­ment for the first time, in re­sponse to the con­tin­u­ous de­cline of the work­ing age pop­u­la­tion that will ren­der la­bor pro­duc­tiv­ity of key com­pet­i­tive­ness in the fu­ture.

Piv­otal Func­tion of Sci-Tech In­no­va­tion

The blue­print sets as a goal that sci­en­tific and techno-

To ac­cel­er­ate op­ti­miz­ing and up­grad­ing of the in­dus­trial struc­ture is a key fea­ture of the “new nor­mal” phase China’s econ­omy is cur­rently un­der­go­ing.

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