Deliberations on the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and long-range objectives through 2035 topped the agenda for the two sessions this year, and analysts emphasized the importance of the first five years jumpstarting China’s journey to becoming a strong power in its path toward high-quality growth and modernization.
The plan, with its focus on high-quality and innovation-led growth and a new development pattern, will be instrumental in securing growth targets of the first five years of China’s push toward 2035, analysts said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday detailed some of the concrete targets to be achieved during the 14th Five-Year Plan period in the Government Work Report. The country will aim to keep surveyed urban unemployment rate to be under 5.5 percent, strive for 7 percent annual growth in research & development spending and forging a new development pattern.
To build a green economy and pave way for achieving its long-term carbon emission goal by 2030, the country will aim to slash energy consumption per unit of GDP by 13.5 percent and cut carbon dioxide emission by 18 percent.
Thousands of China’s top legislators and political advisors gathered in Beijing for the annual two sessions to review and discuss policy priorities and sweeping development plans designed to further lift the country to new milestones in the next 15 years. The aim is for China to become a modern socialist country with world-leading national strength and global influence.
Early suggestions for the plan have indicated that China is aiming to become a middle-income country and double its 2020 GDP in 2035. That would require an average annual growth rate of between 4.7 percent and 5 percent in the next 15 years, according to calculations.
Premier Li said annual GDP targets during the 14th Five-Year Plan will be set out according to circumstances and the economy growth will be managed to stay “within a reasonable range.”
“The 14th Five-Year Plan is about how to build a stronger country and set up a new development pattern,” Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Friday.
High-quality growth, self-reliance in the high-tech sector, boosting domestic demand and development of rural regions are also high on the agenda of this year’s meetings.
“There will be a focus on original innovation and realizing the zero-to-one phase of technological advancement,” Cong said.
Huo Jianguo, vice chairman of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said innovation and environmental protection will also be highlights of the 14th Five-Year Plan.
The fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, opened on Friday, with a full schedule including a review of a blueprint for China’s development in the next five to 15 years, deliberating the draft outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan and the long-range objectives through the year 2035, in addition to hearing the annual work reports of the government, top legislature, supreme court and supreme procuratorate.