10/30/2020, 12.53
CHINA
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5th Plenum closes with Xi Jinping’s call for a 'democratic' country under the Chinese Communist Party

The guidelines set for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and those of a medium-term strategy renamed “Vision 2035”. Focus on technological self-sufficiency and growth of domestic consumption. Hong Kong remains central. Create an army equal in strength to that of the USA by 2027. Decoupling from Washington is considered unrealistic.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Chinese Communist Party ‘s (CCP) new economic plans have set the stage for the transformation of China into a "modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious " by 2049, the centenary of the Republic's birth Chinese folk.

This is what the Party authorities say in the statement released yesterday at the end of the 5th Plenum of the 19th CCP Central Committee.

Jiang Jinquan, director of the party’s Central Policy Research Office, says the first goal of the new five-year plan, is to increase the concentration of power in the hands of the CCP (and therefore of Secretary General Xi Jinping).

Since October 26, more than 300 delegates have been gathered in the capital to set the guidelines of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), and those of a medium-term strategy renamed “Vision 2035”. The two documents will be formally approved next year, during the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.

In order to manage the rapid changes that are taking place on a global level, the Chinese regime will focus on self-sufficiency in the technological field and on strengthening the internal market, without however specifying - as was the case in the past – targets in growth.

The leadership has declared that China needs a "new concept of development” oriented towards quality production and increasing domestic consumption. This would be what Xi called the "dual circulation" strategy.

The Chinese president wants a domestic industry for the production of microchips which to date have been sourced abroad, especially on the US market. They are essential in the development of future technologies: artificial intelligence, 5G and self-driving vehicles.

However, self-sufficiency, does not entail closure the party dignitaries declare. The country will remain open to foreign investment and wants to work with the rest of the world on issues such as climate change, renewable energy and public health.

The central government will support Hong Kong to consolidate and enhance its "competitive advantage", and transform it into an international technological hub. As part of the "Great Bay" development plan (Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong), the former British colony will have to become a "functional platform" of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi's grand plan to make the country the main player in global trade.

The new economic plan also includes efforts to improve the education, pension and social welfare system. China has around 180 million migrant workers, mostly from rural areas, who have no social and health coverage.

For the first time in its history, the CCP has drawn up a precise program to create a "great socialist culture" by 2035, an intermediate step towards becoming "a modern socialist nation" by 2049. Beijing wants to promote Chinese soft-power, riding for example the successes that the regime claims in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Party leadership was clear: the victory against Covid-19 and the recovery of the economy would point to the superiority of China's political system.

The authorities have not neglected plans to boost the military. The 15-year plan provides for the transformation of the Armed Forces into a modern war machine by 2027: it is the first time that such a document contains a reference to military development. Analysts note that Beijing aims to have an military force on a par with the US by that date.

According to Chinese leaders, "protectionism and unilateralism" - an indirect reference to Washington - are the main external threats to the country's economic growth, also endangered by internal economic imbalances. However, "decoupling" (separation) from the United States is seen as "unrealistic": in the third quarter of the year trade between the two powers actually grew by 16%.

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