China’s Twelfth Five- Year Plan

According to a statement made by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, the next five year plan “shall suit the changes in the domestic and international situation and meet the public’s demands for a better life”. The Committee said that despite the considerable economic growth, China still faces many challenges.

For the first time, foreign experts were invited to participate in advising and planning for the next five-year plan, reported People’s Daily. The CPC committee said that this is very important since it is necessary for China to consider its development from a global perspective because of the increasingly important role the country plays in the world economy.

The People’s Daily report said “one Chinese thinker of the past said ‘Rocks from other mountains may be used to carve jade’.” This saying means that one can correct his own defects by learning from advice or experiences of others. This can give a chance to enhance knowledge and have an even wider perspective. As China’s economy continues to grow and the country is integrating into the global scene, and this fact is very important.

The report quoted Professor Kay Shimizu of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia University as saying that “the newly released five-year plan signified that China was ready to go to the next phase of economic growth storing wealth among its people and allowing the public share the fruits of reform and development.”

The most important part of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) is the shift from the export-led sectors to increasing domestic consumer demand by raising Chinese labors’ incomes to allow all Chinese residents prosper in this new era. This is a new step for China’s economy, but something that was part of the plan of economic development for the start.

“We should allow some people to get rich first, and the rest will follow,” said Deng Xiaoping. These plans show that China is ready for a new level, and living standards of the entire population are already growing and will continue to do so.

“This is a significant change for China, and it also means bigger challenges. Income increase obviously will lead to labor cost increase, which is possible to impact export-led sectors as well as encourage high inflation. So an important task for China is to balance the inflation threats with increasing domestic demand while maintaining export-led sectors,” said Professor Shimizu.

The 12th Five-Year Plan period was “a crucial stage for building a moderately prosperous society in an all-around way,” and also “a time of different issues for deepening the reform and opening-up process while accelerating the transformation of the nation’s economic development pattern,” reported China Daily.

The changes in the economy could be the driving force for the next few years, and could help bring the country to a new level of development. If the gap between the rich and the poor becomes smaller, this will signify a different stage. Already, the changes going on in rural areas of the country are quite significant.

“The changes currently going on in the rural China are tremendous and under- reported, especially in the Western media, whose focus is always on the large cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Actually the changes in rural China are going to be the engine of China’s economic growth in the next five or ten years, and of course China will face tremendous challenges. I think China is well-equipped to tackle them,” Professor Shizimu told China Daily.

* Ekaterina Volozova is an international reporter at M4 Media

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