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A Clear Understanding of Difficulties and Challenges during the 13th Five-Year Plan Period: Build a Moderately Prosperous Society in an All-round Manner with New Development Ideas


Li Wei, Development Research Center of the State Council

The Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee approved the Recommendations for China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) on National Economic and Social Development(hereinafter referred to as “the Recommendations”) , which highlights the goal of building China into a moderately prosperous society by 2020. This is a decisive task brought forward by the CPC Central Committee as well as a promise made by the Party to the whole nation, which should be accomplished on time. This is not only a problem of development speed, but also a problem of determining whether China could stride across the “middle-income trap” and smoothly realize modernization. Speaking of China’s current development stage and its large population, to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realize the comprehensive and equal development needs to continuously expand the overall size of the economy. This is the premise for solving various problems in the course of social and economic development. Therefore, the future of China's economic development must maintain a high speed. According to theRecommendations, by 2020 the 2010 GDP will be doubled, and the average annual GDP growth should maintain over 6.5% during 13th Five-Year Plan period. There are at least three constraints for development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. First, viewing from the angle of international market, the constraints on development resulting from external demand will become significantly enhanced. Second, the structure of population will change and the constraints imposed by labor cost on development will get increased by a big margin. And third, resources and environmental load will get close to or reach the upper limit of bearing capacity, the constraints of developmental resources and environment will become heightened. The rapid development of Chinese economy over the past 30 years has accumulated huge physical capital and human capital, as well as rich experience relating tothe development ofa market-oriented economy with relevant regulations. In addition, there is a huge potential for demand growth in the course of industrialization and urbanization. Besides, the promotion of comprehensive national strength has created better conditions for China to seek a more equitable international order for economic development together with other developing countries.The latest changes in the international geopolitical situation have made it possible for China to strive for a better external development environment.Lower international commodity market prices will also reduce the pressure on China's development relating to the supply of resources to some extent. Viewing from the subjective perspective, the "suggestions" have put forward the new development ideas and concepts for development, which have provided the guidance for making and implementing the scientific development strategy and effective development policy. The implementation of these new ideas and concepts needs to fulfill various tasks.First, we should promote innovation and development with a coordinated thinking. Second, we should promote a fair sharing of economic benefits with balanced thinking. Third, we should promote a green development with an overall thinking. And fourth, we should establish a new system and mechanism guided bya comprehensive reform plan.We should, in accordance with the arrangements of the central government, promote the all-round reform in various areas step by step, especially making substantial breakthroughs in the structural reform of supply side so as toprovide an institutional guarantee for realizing the objective of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round manner in light of the new ideas and new concepts.