China's new 5-year plan proposals well-received overseas

08:09, October 20, 2010      

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The proposals for formulating China's 12th five-year plan (2011-2015), unveiled this week, have been well-received by scholars and the media worldwide.

The proposals were examined and approved at the Fifth Plenum of the 17th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Monday.


Overseas experts and media described the current period of time as "bittersweet" for China, an emerging developing nation formulating a five-year plan after more than 30 years of fast economic growth.

On the one hand, China had had remarkable achievements in its 11th five-year plan. One the other hand, it faced a crop of risks and challenges, they said.

China rode out the global financial crisis, dealt with rare natural disasters and held the Beijing Olympic Games with great success. It also marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and hosted the Shanghai Expo, said Chinese Biz News, a Chinese-language newspaper based in the United States.

China became the world's second largest economy and its comprehensive national power strengthened remarkably, the newspaper said.

However, China faced diplomatic challenges in its region as the world economy entered the post-crisis era with changes in the global supply and demand structure. On the simmer were an international currency war and trade conflicts, it said.

Domestically, China also anticipated imbalance in income distribution, a widening wealth gap, and reforms of medical, education and social security systems at a critical point, the newspaper said.

Chen Gang, a research fellow at the East Asia Institute of the National University of Singapore, expects expanding income disparities and fast-growing resource consumption to pose a huge challenge for China's sustainable development.

The Lianhe Zaobao, a leading Chinese language newpaper in Singapore, also noted that the outline blueprint was unveiled at a time when China faced ever-mounting pressure from economic restructuring, pressure for Renminbi appreciation and growing trade protectionism.


There was understanding and appreciation that China was highlighting the importance of "tranforming the model of economic development" in formulating its 12th five-year development plan.

The Chinese-language Macao Daily News said investment remained the foremost engine of the Chinese economy and the services sectors' contribution to its gross domestic product (GDP) was well behind the world average, let alone the energy intensity of the economy. Overall, China was still at the downstream end of global industrial chain.

"China will be farther behind the developed countries if it fails to ride the trend with accelerated economic restructuring," it said.

World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Justin Yifu Lin said the drive to tranform the model of economic growth should remain key over the next five years, or even 10 to 15 years, given that the model of export-driven growth was not sustainable for China.

Gordon Houlden, director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, Canada, called for changes in China's model of economic growth to reduce the impact on the environment and reliance on export-led growth.

China would have to upgrade its manufacturing sectors for them to move upstream in the value chain, and the services sectors would have to grow faster and contribute a larger proportion of the economy, he said.

German daily Die Welt saw the blueprint leading China away from a model of economic growth partly at the cost of the interests of farmers and migrant workers and the over-expoitation of natural resources.

Lawrence Greenwood, vice president of Asian Development Bank, said China's plan to accelerate the pace of transforming its model of growth was not only out of its own need, but also helpful to world rebalancing.
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