Party’s decision-making group met in Beijing . . .
China’s top policy-makers wrapped up their semi-annual discussions at the Fifth Plenum of the 19th Communist Party Central Committee on October 29. Topping the four-day meeting’s agenda was the completion of an outline for China’s 14th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development, the country’s overarching policy blueprint that will guide economic and political activities through 2025. An outline for the plan, as well as for the 2035 Long-Range Objectives, was revealed in an official communique at the end of the high-level meeting. Details will be ratified and released to the public during the National People’s Congress meeting in March 2021.
Dual circulation, tech self-reliance, and more . . .
One significant shift away from previous Five-Year Plans is less emphasis on meeting quantitative GDP goals and more emphasis on “quality growth” that is efficient, sustainable, and healthy. One important means to achieve this objective is a “dual circulation” strategy that looks to stimulate the “internal circulation” of domestic production, distribution, and consumption, while also balancing the “external circulation” of foreign trade and investment. Another priority is technology and innovation, with the official document citing the Chinese leadership’s vow to achieve self-sufficiency in several core technologies that will most likely include AI, big data, and semiconductors.
Other clues to China’s future trajectory . . .
The focus of this newly-drafted Five-Year Plan confirms the country’s response to the unprecedented challenges arising from its increasingly heated economic and technological rivalry with the United States. But what also makes this document so important is that it guides not only China’s economic policies for the next several years, but also its trajectory in terms of military and social security, energy and environmental management, and diplomacy. As countries like Canada recalibrate their relationships with China, it makes good sense for Ottawa to pay close attention to the plan's details and adjust its approach to China accordingly.
- The Diplomat: China’s fifth plenum: What you need to know
- iFeng: 重磅！十九届五中全会公报全文公布
- The New York Times: China’s leaders vow tech ‘self-reliance,’ military power and economic recovery