The main objectives for social and economic development over the next five years were set out in the proposed 13th Five-Year Plan.
Keeping medium-to-high economic growth. At the Fifth Plenary Session, Xi stated that the average annual GDP growth rate during the 13th five-year period will be above 6.5 percent. Economic growth needs to maintain a certain speed in order to ensure that GDP and the per-capita income of both rural and urban residents double by 2020 compared to 2010. On the one hand, in order to double 2010 GDP, the annual growth rate has to be no less than 6.5 percent over the next five years. On the other hand, the per-capita disposable income of urban residents was 19,109 yuan ($2,904) and the per-capita net income of rural residents was 5,919 yuan ($900) in 2010. As the rise of residents' income should be in sync with economic growth, the average annual economic growth rate has to reach a minimum of 6.5 percent during the 13th five-year period if the per-capita income is to double by 2020.
Maintaining an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent will help improve people's livelihoods and allow them to enjoy the results of building a moderately prosperous society. As the Chinese economy enters the new normal, unwinding overcapacity, restructuring the economy and driving growth with innovation will all take some time to be achieved. Additionally, as the economy faces downward pressure, it will not be easy to ensure medium-to-high growth. Nevertheless, this goal has been created after opinions from various sectors of society were consulted so that positive expectations can be set, while still leaving room for adjustments. It is reasonable and in conformity with the country's actual conditions.
Promoting innovation-driven growth. Under the conditions of the new normal, the Chinese economy is in need of innovation more than any time before. As international economic competition becomes increasingly fierce and China's economic growth shifts gears, innovation in areas such as science, technology, industry, enterprises, the market, products, business models and management will provide new driving forces for the Chinese economy. China should hasten the formation of a development model anchored by innovation and a system that promotes innovation. As China takes the lead in development by boosting innovation and making the most of first-mover advantages, the Chinese economy will find a new engine of growth. To be more specific, emerging industries including energy conservation, environmental protection, bio-technology, information technology, intelligent manufacturing, high-end equipment and sustainable energy will embrace new development opportunities. Also, the government will encourage mass entrepreneurship by offering and promoting extensive support for existing and new business models such as crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding.
Accelerating agricultural modernization. China is a large agricultural country. Agriculture is the key component that will allow China to ensure continued modernization and the building of a moderately prosperous society. During the 13th five-year period, China will expedite the establishment of a new system of agricultural management, encourage the development of a cooperative economy in rural areas, and support large-scale, professional and modern management. The country will also encourage and guide industrial and commercial capital to flow to rural areas to develop modern planting and breeding businesses, thus introducing modern production and management models to rural areas. Standardization and information technology will be promoted in the agricultural sector. Systems to ensure agricultural product quality control from farm to table, promote the popularization of modern technological innovation in agriculture and provide commercialized agricultural services will all be improved.
Advancing the reform of institutional mechanisms. China will pursue deeper reforms across the board during the 13th five-year period. Accelerated reforms in areas such as pricing, the fiscal system, taxation, finance, state-owned enterprises, income distribution and social management will enable the country to embark on a path to sound and sustainable economic and social progress. These institutional reforms will resolve drawbacks and problems resulting from runaway growth in the past and inject impetus to China's development.
Promoting balanced development. Problems such as regional disparities, the urban-rural divide and cultural progress lagging behind economic growth are evident in China. To address these problems, the 13th Five-Year Plan will focus on making China's development more balanced. China must uphold regional and urban-rural integration, attach equal importance to economic growth and cultural progress, and coordinate the development of national defense with that of the economy. It will create room for development by promoting balance and foster sustainable development by strengthening weak sectors.
Improving the ecosystem. Promoting ecological progress and building a beautiful China will be written into China's five-year plan for the first time. During the 13th five-year period, sustainable development will receive much more urgency than before. The need to bring about enduring economic and social development, raise people's living standards, improve social welfare and preserve ecological assets will continue to be stressed. In this context, it is highly relevant to promote the green revolution and achieve a green economy. The 13th Five-Year Plan will chart a course for ecological progress in a wide range of areas such as industry, agriculture, energy and resource use, technological upgrades, environmental governance and lifestyles.
Enhancing openness. Over the last more than 30 years, reform and opening up have helped integrate China into the global economy. Promoting reform and development through opening up has been a successful practice. During the 13th five-year period, China will continue with its policy of opening up. Specifically, it will implement a more proactive opening-up strategy by pursuing deeper reforms and embracing greater openness--two mutually reinforcing goals. The 13th Five-Year Plan will call for reciprocal openness with the financial industry, the Belt and Road Initiative, free trade agreements, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the BRICS New Development Bank, etc. China will be more active in taking part in global economic governance and assuming international responsibilities and obligations.
Improving social security. The hallmark of the drive to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects is that everyone participates in, contributes to and benefits from it while enjoying equal opportunities and appropriate levels of social security. The 13th Five-Year Plan aims to achieve moderate prosperity for all with a holistic approach that covers areas such as education, employment, a social safety net, basic medical care and public health, public cultural services, the population policy, income distribution and targeted poverty alleviation.
These goals share two defining characteristics: First, they conform to China's national conditions. The proposed plan has made an in-depth analysis of China's internal and external environments. While fully recognizing continuity from the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) period, it gives greater substance to China's development goals in a contemporary context. The medium-to-high growth target should ensure that the goals of doubling GDP and the income of urban and rural residents are obtained. This target must also be based on greater balance, inclusiveness and sustainability, while underlining the need to emphasize the quality and efficiency of economic growth against the backdrop of the new normal. Second, these goals can resonate with the public. They involve the public's top concerns, which the government needs to address at various levels. This will lead to concrete changes that will be beneficial to the public.