The Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which concluded on October 18, accomplished the vital task of adopting the CPC Central Committee's proposal for formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan for China's Economic and Social Development (2011-15), which will be finalized at the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, in March 2011.
The proposal's highlights are: accelerating the transformation of the nation's economic development pattern, ensuring and improving people's livelihoods, adjusting distribution and emphasizing the strategic status of consumption in developing the economy. It also makes clear China's future development places greater emphasis on ensuring people's livelihoods and on more sustainable development.
The proposal shows the 12th Five-Year Plan will put less emphasis on GDP growth. This indicates, during the next five years, China's development will pay more attention to stability and quality, rather than speed.
The plenum said strategic economic restructuring should be a major task of the transformation of the economic development pattern. The promotion of science and technology progress and innovation will be crucial support to the transformation, while ensuring and improving people's livelihoods should be the very aim and fundamental end of the move. In the meantime, the building of a resource-saving and environment-friendly society should be a focal point in the transformation, and reform and opening up will give it powerful impetus and ensure more comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable growth to achieve sound and fast economic and social development.
Different from the previous practice of sequencing the three growth engines as investment, consumption and exports, the plenum stressed the need for "quickening pace of building a new growth pattern jointly driven by consumption, investment and exports."
In the next five years, the CPC Central Committee said, efforts should be intensified to reinforce social construction and establish and improve the basic public service system. Other priorities in its proposal include promoting employment and harmonious labor relations, adjusting income distribution reasonably, increasing the ratio of people's incomes to national income and the ratio of workers' incomes in the primary distribution of national income. The document also underlines the importance of perfecting the social security system covering urban and rural residents and accelerating the reform and development of the health care sector.
China's development will reach new heights in the next five years. During the process, growing national income and consumption in China will also benefit foreign businesses.
Accelerating the transformation of economic development pattern is not only a requirement from China's pursuit of prosperity but will also be beneficial in correcting global imbalance. The more China's economy expands and more open it becomes, the greater contribution it will make to the world.