China embarks on new journey toward socialist modernization as key blueprint approved

China's five-year plan is one of the country's most important policy blueprints. Drawn up since 1953, it sets long-term goals for China's social and economic development.

China’s top legislative body on Thursday approved a development blueprint for the next five to 15 years to guide the country’s march toward modernization, a dream pursued by many generations of Chinese.

After a week of deliberations, the lawmakers adopted the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 at the closing meeting of the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

“The outline serves as a roadmap toward the country’s second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country, ushering China into a new stage of development,” said Wang Honghai, an NPC deputy and Party chief of Ninghe District of Tianjin City.

China’s five-year plan is one of the country’s most important policy blueprints. Drawn up since 1953, it sets long-term goals for China’s social and economic development and is the barometer against which progress is measured.

Avoiding announcing an explicit economic growth target for the next five years, China aims to keep its economy running within an appropriate range and will set annual economic targets in light of actual circumstances, the outline said.

Li Daokui, a national political advisor and an economist with Tsinghua University, said by setting flexible growth targets, China can concentrate on deep structural issues such as unleashing domestic demand and raising innovation capacity.

The key document also includes an array of other benchmark economic indicators such as an urbanization rate of 65 percent, a surveyed urban unemployment rate of lower than 5.5 percent and drastically slashed carbon emissions per unit of GDP in the next five years.

China’s R&D spending will increase by more than 7 percent per year over the next five years.

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