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Cover Stories Series 2014> Balancing out Pensions> Archive
UPDATED: November 5, 2012 NO. 45 NOVEMBER 8, 2012
The Hopes of the People
China's plans for further development weigh heavily on the minds of the public in the run-up to the Party's national congress
By Wang Hairong

CELEBRATION: Farmers in Neihuang County, central China's Henan Province, arrange red peppers and corn into the flag of the Communist Party of China before the opening of the 18th National Congress of the Party (LIU XIAOKUN)

The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) begins on November 8 in Beijing.

The national congress is the highest leading body of the Party and is held every five years.

The congress will make strategic plans for China's reform and development with a focus on outstanding problems that have emerged during the country's development and issues that concern the people's interests, according to a statement issued on September 28 after a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

"The 18th CPC National Congress is a very important conference to be held at a critical time when China is building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, deepening reform and opening up and accelerating the transformation of its economic development," the statement said.

It emphasized that the upcoming national congress will thoroughly examine current international and domestic issues and take into account new requirements for the country's development.

This year's congress will also elect the Party's new leadership, including the central committee, the general secretary and the political bureau of the central committee and its standing committee.

The CPC Constitution will be amended at the congress to reflect changes proposed by the CPC Central Committee since the Party's 17th National Congress in 2007.

Since the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002, the CPC Central Committee has implemented the Scientific Outlook on Development, which puts people first and calls for comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development instead of blind pursuit of gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

The upcoming congress will review the country's development in the previous decade create policies to guarantee future development, said Xin Ming, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.

Xin said that the next five years will be a key period for realizing the country's goal of building a moderately prosperous society and the public will be watching closely.

Economic development

Economic development is at the heart of the CPC. "In leading the cause of socialism, the CPC must persist in taking economic development as the central task, making all other work subordinate," according to its Constitution.

In 1982, at the 12th CPC National Congress, the Party embarked on a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

A three-step development strategy for the country's modernization was put forward in 1987 at the 13th CPC National Congress.

In step one, in the 10 years from 1981 to 1990, the country aimed to double its per-capita GDP.

In step two, per-capita GDP would double again from 1991 to 2000 in order for China to become a fairly well-off society.

In step three, by the middle of the 21st century, China will have basically realized modernization. Its level of development is expected to be on par with moderately developed countries.

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