China's 14th five-year plan: global game changer
By Thomas W. Pauken II  ·  2021-04-19  ·   Source: NO.16 APRIL 22, 2021

The China skeptics are hard to please and anything the Chinese Government does will be viewed by them in a negative light. According to them, China's rise should be feared, while forecasting China's doom is smart thinking. But what is the real China and how to understand the nation from a more neutral perspective?

The future is more important than the past and that's why China's Central Government makes a big splash when announcing its five-year plans to reaffirm its commitment to keep the nation vibrant while adapting to changing geopolitical conditions and international business trends.

At this year's annual session of the National People's Congress, lawmakers formally adopted the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, which reaffirms dual circulation as the new development paradigm.

The strength of China lies in its economy, but the Chinese believe social stability must take on a leading role to maintain the right conditions for peace and prosperity, while the government serves as the driver to keep the country on the right path. The Chinese Government will intervene to prevent boom-and-bust cycles in the domestic economy and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The new development paradigm, in which the domestic economy serves as the mainstay, while the foreign and domestic markets boost each other, can be viewed as a transitional moment for the country. We can employ an allegory to better comprehend.

Dual circulation is like a healthy bird in flight. The domestic economy is represented by its body, while the foreign and domestic markets are the wings that keep the bird balanced when flying. But there's a deeper message to dual circulation that many so-called experts have overlooked.

It can connote two different strategies for China. Beijing has praised globalism and promoted free trade agreements, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment.

China stands tall as the world's largest manufacturer and exporter. Many nations have long embraced cross-border trade and investment with China. Nevertheless, the political climate can change and we are witnessing a rise in trade protectionism, populism and anti-China attitudes from a number of nation states.

Washington continues to lash out at China even though Donald Trump is no longer in the White House. The Joe Biden administration is following in Trump's footsteps in regards to its China policy and there's no eagerness among the Washington Beltway establishment to shift gears and find ways to cooperate with Beijing.

Dual circulation addresses that potential challenge. The Chinese Government has boosted domestic consumption and services sectors. Should China's manufacturers face restrictions on exports, they could still sell their goods and services to the domestic markets. China's consumption will lead to a surge in imports and, as a result, other foreign markets will score higher revenues and profit streams selling to Chinese consumers.

For the time being, the U.S. market has been most attractive to global manufacturers and exporters but as China's economy remains resilient, exporters will see greater success tapping into the Chinese market.

Besides, dual circulation is Beijing's backup plan just in case the U.S. and other nations choose to march ahead on attempting to isolate China on the world stage. Chinese consumers can come to the rescue for China's manufacturers.

The 14th Five-Year Plan is forward-thinking. Chinese citizens know they have a bright future ahead. The rest of the world can join them on the path to peace and prosperity. China's rise will continue on, whether or not other nations march with them hand in hand. BR

The author is a Beijing-based geopolitical analyst on Asia-Pacific affairs, who pens US vs. China: From Trade Wars to Reciprocal Deal. This article was first published on Cnfocus.com

Comments to yanwei@bjreview.com

China Focus
Special Reports
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise with Us
Partners: China.org.cn   |   China Today   |   China Pictorial   |   People's Daily Online   |   Women of China   |   Xinhua News Agency   |   China Daily
CGTN   |   China Tibet Online   |   China Radio International   |   Global Times   |   Qiushi
Copyright Beijing Review All rights reserved 京ICP备08005356号 京公网安备110102005860