Editor's note: The Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee was held in Beijing from October 26 to 29, 2015. The session deliberated on and approved the Central Committee's Proposal for Formulating the 13th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2016-20) and the Communiqué of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Beijing Review and King's College London jointly prepared a summary of the communiqué to familiarize readers with its key messages.
The Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee was held in Beijing from October 26 to 29, 2015.
Participants deliberated on the report, delivered by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, on the work of the Central Committee's Political Bureau. They also examined and approved the Central Committee's Proposal for Formulating the 13th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2016-20) after Xi presented an explanation of the draft proposal.
The session noted that building a moderately prosperous society in all respects in China by 2020 in time for the CPC centenary in 2021 would fulfill the first of the Two Centenary Goals. The second goal is to turn China into a prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country by the time the People's Republic celebrates its centenary in 2049. The 13th five-year period will be decisive for achieving the first goal. The 13th Five-Year Plan should therefore focus on how it can be delivered.
The session conducted in-depth analysis of the basic features of the environment for China's development during the 13th five-year period. It concluded that this period would continue to present important strategic opportunities, while presenting severe challenges in the form of increased conflicts and risks. We should therefore focus on grasping the dynamics of change inherent to the strategic opportunities on offer, while coping more effectively with risks and challenges. We should maintain our focus on managing our own affairs well, while remaining committed to unceasingly exploring new frontiers of development.
The session put forth the guiding principles for China's development during the 13th five-year period: upholding socialism with Chinese characteristics, we will follow through with the guiding principles of the 18th National Party Congress and the third and fourth plenary sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Maintaining continuity with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, we will implement the guiding principles of General Secretary Xi's major speeches, in order to deliver the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy of establishing a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law, and strengthening Party self-discipline. Development will remain our primary responsibility. In order to create a new developmental paradigm that has quality and efficiency at its core, we need to accelerate the strengthening of governance structures and developmental methods, maintaining an overall strategic balance. Aligning stability with sustainable progress, coordinated economic, political, cultural, social, environmental and Party leadership development will form a solid foundation for the delivery of the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of national renewal.
It was stressed at the session that the following must be upheld in order to realize the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects as planned and to maintain sound economic and social development:
• The position of the Chinese people as masters of the country
• The Scientific Outlook on Development
• Continued and deepening reforms
• The rule of law
• Coordinated planning in international and domestic affairs
• The leadership of the CPC
New targets in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects were put forward at the session: • Double 2010 GDP by 2020 as well as per-capita income of both urban and rural residents on the basis of more balanced, inclusive and sustainable development
• Upgrade manufacturing and promote advanced industries
• Significantly increase the contribution of consumption to economic growth
• Accelerate urbanization
• Achieve significant progress in agricultural modernization
• Raise living standards and the quality of life
• Eliminate rural and regional poverty and rehabilitate all poor counties
• Improve citizens' moral integrity and promote cultural progress
• Improve environmental protection
• Further modernize governance systems
It was stressed that China should highlight and implement the concepts of innovation-driven development, balanced development, green development, open development and development for all, in order to fulfill the goals of the 13th five-year period, overcoming obstacles and sharpening its edge in development. These are profound changes that concern China's overall development. All Party members should be fully aware of the relevance and far-reaching historic importance of these changes.
• Place innovation at the center of the national development strategy
• Encourage innovation in theories, institutions, science, technology and culture
• Make innovation common practice throughout the nation
• Maintain socialism with Chinese characteristics and deal correctly with the core concepts of development
• Balance development between urban and rural areas
• Balance economic and social development
• Synchronize industrialization, digitization, urbanization and agricultural modernization
• Enhance China's holistic development by increasing both its hard power and soft power
• Maintain the basic state policy of saving resources and protecting the environment
• Maintain sustainable development
• Follow a developmental path characterized by higher productivity, general affluence and a sound ecosystem
• Accelerate the building of a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly society
• Realize harmony between human beings and nature
• Advance the program of building a beautiful China
• Make new contributions to global environmental security
• Comply with the trend of the Chinese economy being increasingly incorporated into the global economy
• Uphold a win-win opening-up strategy
• Open up the economy wider to the world
• Participate in global economic governance and the supply of public goods
• Increase China's say in global economic governance
• Establish a far-ranging community of shared interests
Development for All
• Uphold the principle of development for the people, development by the people and development achievements shared by the people
• Achieve governance systems that can more effectively give the entire population an increased sense of shared gain
• Increase developmental momentum
• Unite the people further toward a shared goal of common prosperity
The session concludes that, based on the analysis of the current situation and targets, the most important political task for the Party and the nation is to implement the guiding principles of the session and the decisions and requirements of the proposal for the 13th Five-Year Plan according to its stated time frame.