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China's Landmark Blueprint
China's Landmark Blueprint
UPDATED: October 25, 2010 NO. 43 OCTOBER 28, 2010
Charting China's New Course
China's development plan is expected to highlight new priorities rather than high growth rates

This year's government work report, which was released in March, highlighted "sound" development ahead of "fast development," for the first time, indicating the government's resolution to look to sustainable development instead of mere pursuit of rapid growth at the cost of high energy consumption and a widening gap between rich and poor.

Xin Ming, a professor from the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said local governments' reluctance to slow down the economic growth could be a major hindrance to transformation of the economic growth pattern. "Over the next five years, annual growth rates lower than the 11th Five-Year Plan period would be acceptable since successful transformation of growth patterns would lead to better economic growth prospects in the future," Xin told China National Radio.

The country would also push forward urbanization in a positive and sound manner and achieve balanced development between regions, said the communique.

"Urbanization and the development of China's central regions are becoming strong engines for China's economic growth," said Zhang.

In the next five years, the government would continue the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing sector and accelerate the growth of the service sector, while developing strategic emerging industries, the communique said.

A modern energy industry, a comprehensive transport system, an information-based economy and the marine economy would be among the priorities, it said.

The communique also called for more scientific innovation and acceleration of education reform, which would lay a solid foundation for transformation of the economic growth pattern and the construction of moderately well-off society.

The communique said that reform was "a powerful driving force" for accelerating the transformation of the economic development mode.

"Reform in every realm must be comprehensively pushed forward with more resolution and encouragement," it said.

Great impetus would be given to economic restructuring, while "vigorous yet steady" efforts should be made to promote political restructuring and more efforts should be made to speed up the promotion of cultural and social reforms, said the communique.

Wang Changjiang, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told Xinhua that "all-round reforms will be pushed forward simultaneously," not just economic reforms that had continued steadily for more than three decades.

The cultural sector will be promoted to become a "pillar industry," Wang Tongsan, Director of the Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics at the CASS, told Xinhua.

"Cartoons, films and dramas could all become an important part of China's GDP growth," Wang said.

The communique said efforts should be made to ensure and improve people's livelihoods, and gradually complete a sustainable, basic public service system that suits China's situation and covers urban and rural areas.

The social security system covering rural and urban regions should be strengthened and the pace of medical reform and development should be quickened, it said.

Another key measure in the communique for improving people's livelihoods is to increase the ratio of people's incomes to the national income and the ratio of worker income in the primary distribution of national income.

Livelihoods a priority

"Only through people becoming wealthy can the country get stronger," Wu Zhongmin, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told Xinhua.

Wu said an important task for the 12th development plan was to "store wealth among the people," and "let the masses share the fruits of reform and development."

China will continue the policy of boosting domestic demand to maintain stable and rapid economic development, said the communique.

"China will strive to foster a growth pattern that is jointly driven by consumption, investment and exports with the improvement of investment structures and establishment of a long-term mechanism to expand domestic consumption," said the document.

China aimed to reduce its dependence on investment and exports, which made it vulnerable to global economic recession. Efforts had been made to increase domestic demand through consumer subsidies and rising incomes.

The communique said improving people's lives and making them feel secure should be the "fundamental ends" of economic transformation.

"In the context of the international financial crisis, boosting exports has become very difficult while residents' income accounts for a very low proportion in the distribution of national wealth," said Ba Shusong, an expert on financial policies of Development Research Center of the State Council. Ba said the content of reasonably adjusting wealth distribution in the communique is particularly necessary.

Improving basic public services will be a key task for China in the next five years, said the communique.

The document called for employment promotion, increased incomes, strengthening of the social security system and accelerated reform and development of the healthcare sector.

Chi Fulin, head of the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development, told Xinhua that establishment of a public service system and a public service-oriented government would lay the foundations for boosting domestic demand and sustainable development.

"It is important for the government to turn itself into a public service-oriented institution and achieve social justice," he said.

Better public services could lead to a better market environment, so the government could rid itself of redundant administrative procedures and focus on the promotion of social justice, he said.

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