A meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opens on Monday to begin finalizing the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) for national development; the final countdown to reaching the first Centenary Goal.
The first Centenary Goal, in celebration of the founding of the CPC in 1921, is to double 2010 GDP and double the 2010 income of both urban and rural residents by 2020, completing the building of a moderately prosperous society.
The second Centenary Goal, commemorating the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, is to build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the middle of this century -- the great renewal of the Chinese nation.
The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) has brought some significant achievements, including a higher level of economic and social development, new breakthroughs in reform and opening up and improved living standards for ordinary citizens.
The 13th period is vital to realizing the first Centenary Goal. The country and people are now on the home stretch, an important period of strategic opportunities. The timing and overall situation are favorable. As the world economy twists and turns and tries to right itself, there are many serious global challenges, but the world's main themes are still peace and development.
To build a moderately prosperous society in a nation with 1.3 billion people is an unprecedented historical mission which has not been, and will not be, easily achieved. There are no short-cuts to transforming a development mode, adjusting an economic structure, alleviating poverty and protecting the environment.
Reform and innovation are the fundamental solutions. Success relies heavily on the preeminence of the CPC and in following the Party's strategic layout of reform and rule of law. Unity is another imperative. Central and local governments must make concerted efforts. Entrepreneurship and innovation are not achievable by individuals acting alone, but only through the whole of society pulling together.
It has been 37 years since China began the twin processes of reform and opening-up and the country is stronger now than ever, with more opportunities before it than ever. Looking forward to the coming five years, China will remain composed and focused on its own development: party and people marching hand-in-hand on the road to prosperity.