Economy Oct 30

China's top officials lay out a plan for healthy, green growth

Plenary meeting in Beijing generates usual goals for a more prosperous and happy society, while a 'sundog' event spurs speculation on what such an omen might foretell

China's top officials lay out a plan for healthy, green growth 
A crane at a construction site in Beijing is silhouetted against the rising sun in Beijing - just one sun – in this file photo from March 2016 by Kim Kyung-Hoon for Reuters.

(ATF) China's top officials laid out a plan to achieve healthy economic growth over the next five years at their plenary meeting in Beijing this week. The focus will be on a higher quality of growth, reporters were told later.

The plenary session – held behind closed doors – heard and discussed a work report by General Secretary Xi Jinping and approved proposals from the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee for the 14th Five-Year Plan, plus long-term goals for 2035. 

Top among the various economic and social goals is developing China’s domestic market. Reform of the property rights system will be prioritised, according to CCTV, the state broadcaster.

The CCP says a new system of open economy has basically taken shape and China is opening up new sectors to foreign investors, especially in the finance sector.

The party also said the country's “moral civilisation” had improved, and the party would encourage core socialist values going forward.

Environmental improvements are also on the party’s to-do list. People’s livelihood and well-being have reached a new level, with fuller and higher-quality employment achieved, the party said.

Longer-term goals for 2035 are to strengthen the economy, technology and science. The party wants the per capita income of urban and rural residents to reach a new level, and they hope to achieve this by making breakthroughs in key technologies. So there will be a lot of pressure on tech companies to innovate, as the burden of future growth is on their shoulders.

Plan to reduce the gap in living standards

The CCP wants new industrialisation and urbanisation, with better information systems, better agricultural systems, and a modern economic system.

It also wants to modernise national governance – China wants to move to a full e-government model, with many services handled via the internet.

And the party wants to encourage a ‘green’ and more health conscious mentality among the people.

By 2035 per capita GDP should reach the level of moderately developed countries, with middle-income groups expanding in size, basic public services equalised, and the gap between urban and rural development and living standards significantly reduced.

The plan, Xinhua said, is for China to deepen reforms and let market forces play a decisive role in resources allocation.

It will promote a "dual circulation" model, first proposed by Xi in May, which envisages that the country's next phase of development will depend mainly on domestic consumption, backed by domestic technological innovation.

It also plans to revolutionise its energy systems, and to give priority to the development of agricultural and rural areas.

Sundog event

China's external environment "is getting more complicated", the news agency noted, adding that, "There is a significant increase in instabilities and uncertainties."

But the country's development was still in a period of important strategic opportunities, despite new challenges, it said.

During the four-day summit in Beijing, there was an unexpected phenomenon, known as a sundog, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX-YaMG95jQ), which is when it looks like there are two or more suns in the sky due to atmospheric conditions.

This event is likely to spur considerable speculation. Some are already suggesting it is a sign of a challenge to President Xi, while others suggest it could be an omen of good fortune.

We won't hazard a guess.