13th five-year plan to demonstrate how to build well-off society

2015-10-13 15:19

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The Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which attracts tremendous attention, is going to be held from Oct. 26 to 29 in Beijing.

The meeting of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau on Oct. 12 made the above decision and studied the thirteenth five-year plan (hereinafter referred to as the Plan) for national economy and social development. Reviewing suggestion draft of the Plan will be a core issue at the Fifth Plenary Session.

An official indicated in an interview by China Business News that to build a well-off society in an all-round way will be a highlight of the Plan. “There are always doubts about the detailed contents of an overall well-off society and some regions even link it with goals in figure in recent years. The introduction of the Plan will give a vivid demonstration on it.”

Concept of all-round well-off society catches attention

China has made several five-year plans since the reform and opening-up policy was launched. The Sixteenth National Congress of the CPC put forward to comprehensively build a well-off society in the first 20 years of the 21st century, and the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC further proposed to build an overall well-off society by 2020.

Although building a well-off society in an all-round way is an important symbol of Chinese-style modernization and has been a goal that the party and the country are striving for in recent years, all sectors of the society do not reach a consensus on what is an all-round well-off society. 

An anonymous scholar told that the concept of the all-round well-off society involves plentiful contents but lacks details in many aspects. The report of the Eighteenth National Congress proposed to double the GDP and per capita income of urban and rural residents by 2020 when compared with that in 2010. Except this, there’re no exact targets in other significant aspects.

The journalist found that the latest three national congresses all raised new requirements and further interpretation on the concept. For example, the Eighteenth National Congress came up with a new overall blueprint with “four modernizations” and “integration of five constructions”.

Liu Peilin, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council on Development Strategy and Regional Economy, indicated that the all-round well-off society is a holistic target covering economy, politics, culture, society, ecological civilization and other fields, which needs more effects in all aspects.

The important contents of finishing building a well-off society include the sustainable and healthy economic development, continuously expansion in people’s democracy, remarkable improvement in culture soft power, all-round improvement in people’s living standard and significant progress in the construction of resource-saving and environment-friendly society, etc., which are also the goals we endeavor to achieve.

The above-mentioned official also expressed that the introduction of the Plan will comprehensively demonstrate the rich connotation of the all-round well-off society. The one-sided move including increasing GDP in some regions will fail to complete the plan. In this sense, the development of some disadvantageous fields will be faced with greater pressure during the period of the Plan.

Economic transformation and upgrading to play leading role

With the development stage changing, the Chinese economic development path is also undergoing changes. Economic transformation, upgrading and structural adjustment have become the hottest Chinese economic phrases over the past two years.

 “China’s economy is faced with unprecedented pressure on transformation during the period of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan since demographic dividend and the dividend of economic globalization, the internal and external dividends that pushed China’s high economic growth in the past decade, have nearly played out, resulting in that the investment- and export-driven economic growth mode in the past is no longer sustainable now”, said Zhang Jun, head of the macroeconomic study of Morgan Stanley China Fortune Securities Co., Ltd.

Zhang believes that to avoid the middle-income trap widely encountered by developing countries, China’s economy must maintain a middle and high growth while undergoing economic transformation during the period of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan. Under the context that both labor supply and the marginal product of capital decline, it will be an inevitable course to achieve sustainable economic growth in China by intensifying efforts in reform so as to improve the economy’s “total factor productivity”.

Judged from senior management’s attitudes, transformation and adjustment will take large part of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan. Chinese President Xi Jinping set forth the overall framework of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan for the first time on the forum of the main responsible persons from the Party committee of 7 provinces in East China which was held on May 27 this year and proposed “ten goals”. Compared with the “Twelfth Five-Year” Plan, “structural adjustment” and “innovation promotion” are prioritized, meaning that efforts will be spared towards the transformation of service economy, industrial upgrading and the rise of new economy.

Besides senior management’s attitudes, some securities reports also point out that compared with the 60 topics proposed in the “Twelfth Five-Year” Plan, the number of topics in the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan is condensed into 27. Topics including “economic transformation and upgrading”, “information economy” and “going out” strategy are proposed for the first time in the plan and they will become the new highlights of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan.

Development of soft power attracts attentions

Either for building a well-off society or a socialist country, problems and weaknesses, existed in people’s livelihood, ecology and etc., will be important issues during the period of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan. The Political Bureau meeting convened yesterday proposed to stick to people-oriented development idea; take the improvement of people’s welfare and the promotion of people’s full development as starting point and foothold; develop people’s democracy; maintain social fairness and justice; guarantee people’s right of equal participation and equal development; fully give rein to the people’s enthusiasm, initiative and creativity.

Scholars predict that more systematic and specified arrangement concerning “soft power” will be made during the period of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan so as to build an all-round well-off society.

Yang Weimin, vice-minister of the office at the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, recently indicated in public forum that the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan might become a turning point for China to improve ecological environment. In addition, he also proposed to prioritize the improvement and adjustment of the spatial pattern and structure of economic development as well as reasonably define the space for city, agriculture and ecology.

The journalist finds that reform arrangement in education, employment, income, social security, medical treatment and public health, food safety and etc. have been developed since last year. These reforms are expected to be incorporated into the reform of the “Thirteenth Five-Year” Plan to set up a comprehensive and balanced development goal.
Translated by Jennifer Lu and Vanessa Chen
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