The year 2020 is a watershed in human history. The sudden onslaught of COVID-19 has triggered a global crisis, shifting global growth into reverse gear. Anachronistic practices of unilateralism and protectionism have been on the increase. Human being is confronted with unprecedented risks and challenges in an increasingly turbulent and changing world.
Facing the devastating impact of COVID-19 and an increasingly complex international environment, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese people rallied together behind a common purpose. China was among the first to contain the virus, to carry out international cooperation against COVID-19, to reopen the economy safely, and to restore economic growth. The country is on course to fulfill the historic mission of ending extreme poverty within the set time frame, secure decisive achievements in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society and realize the first centenary goal.
The fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held in Beijing recently. The meeting adopted The Proposal of the CPC Central Committee for Formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, setting out a great vision for China’s development in the coming five years and beyond. It marked the beginning of a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China’s economy grew at an average annual rate of 6.7 per cent, per capita GDP exceeded $10,000 by 2020. It is estimated that China’s GDP will exceed 100 trillion yuan. China contributes 30 per cent to world economic growth. A total of 55.75 million rural people were lifted out of poverty. More than 1.3 billion people have access to basic medical insurance, and nearly 1 billion people were covered by basic old-age insurance.
From the 14th Five-Year Plan and its beyond, China will pursue high-quality development as the main theme and deepen supply-side structural reforms as the main task. China will implement the new development philosophy of innovation, coordination, green, open and shared development, and strive to improve the quality and efficiency of development so that all people will benefit from its fruits.
China will build a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. The new development paradigm is a strategic decision made based on the current stage and conditions of development in China and with full consideration given to economic globalization and changes in the external environment. It is an active action instead of passive response; It’s a long-term strategy instead of a make shift. We are not pursuing a closed-door circulation, but open and mutually reinforcing domestic and international circulations.
China’s new development blueprint will bring new opportunities to the world.
China will fully unlock its market potential and create greater demand for other countries. Many international institutions have projected that China’s retail market will reach six trillion dollars in 2020. China will become the only major economy in the world to achieve positive growth this year. China will continue to open its door wider to the world, fully tap into the strength of its enormous market and the potential of domestic demand, and make China’s market a global market and a shared market..
China will continue to deepen international cooperation for shared benefits. We will promote stable and smooth operation of global industrial and supply chains, and work with all countries to build an open world economy. We will vigorously advance high quality Belt and Road cooperation, accelerate the development of the Health Silk Road, the digital Silk Road and a green Silk Road, and bring benefits to more countries and peoples.
China’s development achievements are hard-won as the results of the arduous struggle by the Chinese peope against the background of unprecedented changes and increasing risks and challenges. The leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialism system with Chinese characteristics are the fundamental guarantee of the two great magics of China to achieve economic and social development and social stability for a long time. It is also the broad road to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Chinese people will unswervingly follow this path.
The CPC sticks to the principle of people-oriented, for the people, by the people and shared by the people. The fundamental goal of China’s development is to improve people’s well-being and fulfill their aspiration for a better life, not to threaten or challenge anyone. China is committed to the path of peaceful development and has always been a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and defender of the international order. No matter how the international situation changes and how China develops itself, China will never seek hegemony. China is a partner rather than an adversary. China’s development represents an opportunity rather than a threat to the world.
The year 2021 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founder of the Communist Party of China and the launch of the 14th Five-Year Plan. China will embark on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and realizing its second centenary goal. We will uphold the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, sincerely work with other countries to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
2021 will be an important year for China-Africa relations. We will, under the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road Initiative, take the opportunity of the FOCAC meeting in Senegal to promote the implementation of the outcomes of FOCAC Beijing summit and the Special Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, further deepen cooperation with African countries in fighting the pandemic and economic recovery and make positive contribution to build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
By ZHU Jing
Author is the Charge d’affairs, of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Ghana