Q: When is an (11th 5-Year) Plan, Not a Plan? A: When it is a Guideline.

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The recently approved 11th-5-Year Plan, running to 2010, is interesting in a number of ways. For one thing, it is being presented as a “programme” or “guideline” rather than a traditional “plan”. The semantics are significant in that it sends a message about how the government’s attitude to management of the economy is changing – from controller to regulator – and because it recognizes that the growing private sector cannot be directed the same way as the old, unreformed state sector was.

So much for the attitude. What about the aim? A lot has been written about the plan / programme, but it can be difficult to get to the heart of what it is all about – and easy to miss important changes in emphasis.

Thanks to a briefing by a senior official from the Chinese Embassy in London, we can report the following “6 Tasks”, “9 Targets”, and “8 Characteristics” (lucky 8?!):

    Major Tasks and Policy Orientation
    1. Building a new socialist countryside
    2. Speeding up restructuring of the economy and transforming of economic growth mode with original innovation
    3. Building a resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly society
    4. Promoting a coordinated and balanced development between different regions.
    5. Building a socialist harmonious society.
    6. Deepening reforms and further expanding opening up

    Targets set in the Guideline
    1. Smooth and steady operation of the macro-economy. GDP to grow 7.5% annually; double the per capita GDP in 2000
    2. Optimizing and upgrading structure of industries. Proportion of added value in service industry to GDP and that of new employment to total employment grow by 3% and 4% respectively. R&D expenditure increase to 2% of GDP
    3. Considerably improving efficiency of resource use. Energy consumption per unit of GDP is to decrease by 20%. Water consumption per unit of industrial added value is to decline by 30%
    4. Urban and rural development to grow in a balanced way, with the urbanization rate reaching to 47%
    5. Basic public services to be greatly reinforced. People’s average education is to increase to 9 years. Urban basic endowment insurance is to cover 223 million people. New rural cooperative medical care’s coverage reach over 80 %.
    6. Sustainable development capacity to be boosted. Total population to be kept under 1.36 billion. Arable land to be maintained at 120 million hectares. Main pollutant discharges to be reduced by 10%, and forest coverage reach 20%
    7. Relatively complete market economic system
    8. People’s living standard continues to improve. Urban resident per capita disposable income and rural resident per capita net income annually grow by 5%
    9. Democratic and legal system construction, and spiritual civilization construction, make new progress

    Characteristics of the Guideline>/strong>
    1. The strategic concepts -“Scientific Approach to Development” and “Constructing a Harmonious Socialist Society ” are the guiding principles of the Guideline
    2. The goals set in the Guidelines reflect a keener attention to the issues of humanity, society and the environment, as well as the economy
    3. For the first time, the development index has been set in an indicative way as “expected” and “restricted to”.
    4. A primary goal in the Guidelines is the building of a new socialist countryside
    5. Although the structure of industry must be further developed and strengthened, the focus is on high productivity and efficiency, not scale
    6. Also for the first time, efforts are to be made to strengthen the service industries
    7. The two basic national policies, namely energy-saving and environmental protection are incorporated in the Guideline
    8. Original innovation and the training of talent are also prominent in the Guidelines

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News source:

Chinese Embassy, London

Other News:

China Mapping out the 11th Five-Year Guideline_china.org.cn Changes in Five-Year Plans’ Economic Focus. -, New Thoughts and Moves of “11th Five-Year Guidelines” Viewed from 11 Key Words (1) …

New 5-Year Plan to see revolutionary changes(10/11/05) New 5-Year Plan to see revolutionary changes(10/11/05). The 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded its fifth plenary session …

One Response to “Q: When is an (11th 5-Year) Plan, Not a Plan? A: When it is a Guideline.”

  1. Archive » A Good Environment - for Business| China Business Blog Says:

    […] by the end of 2007.” These reports follow bold targets in the 11th Five Year plan (see here), and commitments (reported by the BBC) to cut energy use by a fifth, reduce industrial pol […]

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