Key CPC meeting to convene in Oct, focusing on new plan on economic, social development amid global uncertainties
Published: Jul 30, 2020 10:33 PM

Photo: Xinhua

The fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be held in Beijing in October, it was announced Thursday.

One main item on the agenda is to draw up the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for national economic and social development. Experts said China is currently facing a more complicated international environment and a slumping global economy. 

The decision was made at a meeting of Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Thursday. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

The main agenda of the fifth plenary session in October would be making up the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for national economic and social development and development goal for 2035, Xinhua reported. 

Graphics: GT

The drafting of the 14th Five-Year Plan has attracted domestic and international attention as it is the first five-year plan after China is expected to build a moderately well-off society in an all-round way, and would set the tone for future development, given the increasingly complicated external challenges and uncertainties, analysts said. 

China's 14th Five-Year Plan is very likely to focus on three aspects - striving for economic growth driven by stabilized domestic consumption, bolstering areas of weakness, and deepening comprehensive reforms, Cong Yi, a professor at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times Thursday.

"The two-year trade war the US initiated against China has made China realize that it couldn't rely on imports of key equipment and core technologies any more. Hence, the country will surely ramp up its efforts to make key breakthroughs in bottleneck technologies such as semiconductors and high-end manufacturing," he said, noting that this is also crucial for the country to achieve the goal of becoming a global leader in innovation by 2035.

Echoing Cong, Mei Xinyu, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that one focus for the next five-year plan would also be to improve China's economic resilience to external impact. 

Considering the impact of the raging COVID-19 pandemic to the world economy and increasing uncertainties in the international environment, a guideline for economic development in the 14th Five-Year Plan may be developing the economy mainly based on the domestic cycle and coordinating with the external cycle, Wang Jun, deputy director of the department of information at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

As the international community would care more about China's economic growth target for the next five years, Wang said that like what happened at this year's two sessions held in May, the country may not set specific GDP growth targets, but would focus more on improving the quality of the economy, people's incomes, living environment and livelihood.

In the Government Work Report Premier Li Keqiang delivered at the 3rd session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) held in May, no specific GDP growth target was set for the year 2020. Instead, Li focused on stabilizing employment and safeguarding people's livelihood. This is generally regarded as a pragmatic tactic in response to the uncertainty caused by the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Dismissing Western speculation in recent years that the Chinese economy faces heavy downward pressure, Cong said that the country's 13th Five-Year Plan has been carried out within expectations, with technological development, industrial structural adjustment, poverty alleviation and people's lives all improving.

"As these targets have been achieved, GDP growth doesn't matter anymore. In addition, China's economy has become the first among major economies to step out of contraction in the second quarter," he noted.

Meanwhile, the Chinese central government has positioned "new infrastructure" construction as a key policy of its post-global pandemic economic recovery, which lays the foundation for future development, Cong said. The new infrastructure focuses on 5G networks, industrial internet and artificial intelligence.

Mei said that China began to make its five-year plans in 1953, and as the strategy evolved during the past decades, it effectively led the direction of economic development, and mobilized social resources. 

"In terms of consistent policy layout and strategic planning, even administrations in developed countries like the US and the EU cannot compare with the CPC," Cong said. "No matter what new economic roads China takes, there is one theme that will never change - striving for continuous development so as to improve people's livelihood."