China’s Eco­nomic Growth Shifts from High-speed to High-qual­ity

The pro­jected tar­get of 6.5-per­cent GDP growth in 2018 is de­signed to align with China’s eco­nomic tran­si­tion from a phase of high-speed growth to a stage of high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment.

China Pictorial (English) - - CONTENTS - Text by Hu An­gang

Since 2012, af­ter com­plet­ing a pe­riod of pre­lim­i­nary growth and a pe­riod of rapid growth, China’s econ­omy has en­tered a third, more pros­per­ous pe­riod. Mean­while, a “new nor­mal” has ar­rived, mark­ing a shift from high-speed growth to high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment, from a mid­dle-in­come so­ci­ety to a high-in­come coun­try, and from “some get rich first” to “com­mon pros­per­ity.” The coun­try has since ush­ered in a new era of so­cial­ism with Chinese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

On March 5, 2018 at the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC), Premier Li Ke­qiang un­veiled pro­jected tar­gets for de­vel­op­ment this year in the Re­port on the Work of the Gov­ern­ment: GDP growth of around 6.5 per­cent, CPI in­crease of around 3 per­cent, at least 11 mil­lion new ur­ban jobs, ur­ban un­em­ploy­ment rate within 5.5 per­cent and ba­sic par­ity in per­sonal in­come growth and eco­nomic growth.

These tar­gets con­sider the need to se­cure de­ci­sive vic­tory in the con­struc­tion of a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects by 2020 and are de­signed to align with China’s eco­nomic tran­si­tion from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment.

In 2017, China’s econ­omy con­tin­ued grow­ing steadily and healthily, achiev­ing bet­ter-thanex­pected per­for­mance. This year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of the re­form and open­ing up that be­gan in 1978, as well as a cru­cial year for achiev­ing the 2020 de­vel­op­ment goals and im­ple­ment­ing the 13th Five-year Plan. This year will her­ald ef­forts to put the guid­ing prin­ci­ples of the 19th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) into ac­tion. In this new stage of de­vel­op­ment, China needs solid progress in all as­pects of eco­nomics to achieve high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment that is more in­no­va­tive, co­or­di­nated, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, open and fair.

First, China needs to strengthen in­no­va­tion-driven eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and main­tain con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment of the qual­ity of eco­nomic growth. In­no­va­tion ca­pac­ity is the fun­da­men­tal driver of high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. Wider im­ple­men­ta­tion of an in­no­va­tion­driven de­vel­op­ment strat­egy will fur­ther en­hance over­all la­bor pro­duc­tiv­ity, to­tal fac­tor pro­duc­tiv­ity and po­ten­tial growth rate and fur­ther pro­mote the trend of tech­nol­ogy-driven de­vel­op­ment. This year, ma­jor mea­sures to help in­no­va­tion play the lead role in vi­tal­iz­ing the real econ­omy in­clude full im­ple­men­ta­tion of a plan to de­velop strate­gic emerg­ing in­dus­tries, progress in fos­ter­ing emerg­ing in­dus­tries to cre­ate stronger new mo­men­tum for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, ac­cel­er­a­tion of the up­grade of tra­di­tional in­dus­tries and vig­or­ous pro­mo­tion of ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing to nudge made-inChina to­wards mid­dle and high ends. Ad­di­tional new poli­cies will ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment of the mod­ern ser­vice in­dus­try and ser­vices trade and strengthen the con­struc­tion of in­fras­truc­ture net­works con­cern­ing wa­ter con­ser­vancy, rail­ways, high­ways, wa­ter trans­porta­tion, avi­a­tion, pipe­lines, power, in­for­ma­tion and lo­gis­tics.

Sec­ond, China needs to de­sign new, ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms to pro­mote more co­or­di­nated eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

The co­or­di­nated de­vel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy is cru­cial to tack­ling im­bal­anced growth hin­der­ing high­qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. In 2018, China needs to fur­ther op­ti­mize its eco­nomic struc­ture and fully un­leash the po­ten­tial of ser­vice con­sump­tion and green con­sump­tion in driv­ing eco­nomic growth to achieve a more bal­anced eco­nomic struc­ture. China will con­tinue im­ple­ment­ing the co­or­di­nated re­gional de­vel­op­ment strat­egy to make the re­gional de­vel­op­ment oc­cur more ra­tio­nally. China will also ac­cel­er­ate the con­struc­tion of beau­ti­ful spe­cial towns and beau­ti­ful coun­try­side ar­eas and pro­mote in­te­grated ur­ban-ru­ral de­vel­op­ment.

Third, China needs to fo­cus on green de­vel­op­ment and ad­vance its eco­log­i­cal progress. The green de­vel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy is im­por­tant to achiev­ing har­mo­nious co­ex­is­tence be­tween man and na­ture, which is a char­ac­ter­is­tic of high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. This year is cru­cial to com­pre­hen­sive im­prove­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal qual­ity. To achieve this goal, China needs to re­form the sys­tem to build an eco­log­i­cal civ­i­liza­tion and im­prove the func­tional area sys­tem. It needs to pro­mote an en­ergy pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion revo­lu­tion to cre­ate a clean, low-car­bon, safe and ef­fi­cient en­ergy sys­tem. More­over, the coun­try needs to launch low­car­bon pi­lots and demonstrations, play an ac­tive role in in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion on cli­mate change and make Chinese con­tri­bu­tions to global en­vi­ron­men­tal gov­er­nance.

Fourth, China needs to make its eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment more open and de­velop new ad­van­tages in in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion. The open de­vel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy is es­sen­tial for China to in­crease its eco­nomic strength and over­all na­tional strength. It is ex­pected to solve prob­lems re­lated to in­ter­ac­tions with the out­side world along the road to high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. This year, China needs to im­prove the struc­ture, in­sti­tu­tions and mech­a­nisms for open­ing up to cre­ate a new and more com­pre­hen­sively open land­scape. In the process, it needs to lighten mar­ket ac­cess in an or­derly man­ner, fully im­ple­ment the man­age­ment model of preestab­lish­ment na­tional treat­ment and a neg­a­tive list, im­prove laws con­cern­ing for­eign in­vest­ment and strengthen the pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights. China will con­tinue im­prov­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment and ex­pand the scope of non-fi­nan­cial for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments. China will pro­mote the or­derly, healthy de­vel­op­ment of out­bound in­vest­ment and grad­u­ally form a global trade,

in­vest­ment, fi­nanc­ing, pro­duc­tion and ser­vice net­work.

Fifth, China needs to re­al­ize fairer eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and let all peo­ple en­joy the new fruits of de­vel­op­ment. En­hanc­ing liv­ing stan­dards is the ul­ti­mate goal of de­vel­op­ment. To safe­guard and im­prove the peo­ple’s liveli­hood, it re­quires solv­ing the most spe­cific prob­lems of ut­most and im­me­di­ate con­cern to the peo­ple. The gov­ern­ment must do all it can within its ca­pac­ity and ac­cu­rately de­fine the most prom­i­nent is­sues and their root causes. In 2018, China needs to im­prove the level and qual­ity of pub­lic ser­vices and take cor­rect mea­sures in ar­eas like ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment, in­come, so­cial se­cu­rity, med­i­cal care and se­nior care to meet the pub­lic’s grow­ing de­mand for bet­ter liv­ing stan­dards—and en­able peo­ple from all walks of life to share the fruits of re­form and de­vel­op­ment.

An ae­rial view of Shang­hai at night. In the new stage of de­vel­op­ment, China needs solid progress in all as­pects of eco­nomics to achieve high-qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. VCG

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