Image: Closing session of 19th CPC National Congress courtesy News.cn
By Charles F Moreira, Editor
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (the Party) held from 18 to 21 October 2017, approved the report delivered by Party secretary general Xi Jinping on behalf of the Party’s 18th Central Committee, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported on 24th October 2017.
The report outlines the Party’s basic policy for upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, and establishes the goal to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the year 2020 as a prelude to the building a modern socialist China from 2020 till the middle of the 21st Century.
Whilst much of the report focuses on internal party and China’s political matters, in this article, Enterprise TV will mostly focus on the economic aspects of the report in terms of China’s economic and development policies moving forward.
Whilst changes in China over the past five years have been profound, these have resulted in a situation of unbalanced and inadequate development and the Party aims to balance economic development with the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, so the Party resolved to improve the quality and effect of development which addresses the people’s needs for economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological needs of the people, and to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress.
The Congress highlighted 14 points which underlie the efforts to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics – namely:-
- Ensure Party leadership over all work.
- Commit to a people-centered approach.
- Continue to comprehensively deepen reform.
- Adopt a new vision for development.
- See that the people run the country.
- Ensure every dimension of governance is law-based.
- Uphold core socialist values.
- Ensure and improve living standards through development.
- Ensure harmony between humans and nature.
- Pursue a holistic approach to national security.
- Uphold absolute Party leadership over the people’s forces.
- Uphold the principle of “one country, two systems” and promote national reunification.
- Promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
- Exercise full and rigorous governance over the Party.
The Congress aims to complete the building of China into a moderately prosperous society between now and the year 2020, a goal which was set out at the 16th, 17th and 18th party congresses (or over the past 15 years) and focused on addressing inadequacies and strengthening weaknesses.
Moving forward, the 19th Congress resolved to forestall and diffuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation, prevent and control pollution so that the moderately prosperous society so built will earn the people’s approval and will be stable and sustainable before moving to the next phase of building a modern socialist economy in China.
The development plan drawn up by the Party will be implemented in two stages based upon a comprehensive analysis of the international and domestic environments and the conditions for China’s development.
During the first stage from 2020 to 2035, China will build on the foundation of the moderately prosperous society to achieve basic socialist modernisation.
During the second stage from 2035 till the middle of the 21st century, the Party will work to develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, ecologically advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
The development plan moves away from the current emphasis on quantity development to quality development, in which priority is given to performance, the pursuit of supply-side structural reform the main task, an emphasis on better quality, higher efficiency, and more robust drivers of economic growth through reform.
The Party will step up the development of an industrial system that promotes coordinated development of the real economy with technological innovation, modern finance, human resources development, endeavour to develop an economy with more effective market mechanisms, dynamic micro-entities and sound macro-regulation so as to steadily strengthen China’s innovation capacity and competitiveness of her economy.
Supply-side structural reform will accelerate China’s move towards becoming a country of innovators, vitalise rural areas and coordinated regional development, speed up efforts to improve the socialist market economy, make new ground in opening up on all fronts, and strive to achieve better quality, more efficient, fairer, and more sustainable development.
The Party plans to improve the system of institutions through which the people run the country and develop socialist democracy. It will uphold the role of the party leadership and the people running the country with law-based governance.
Achieving this requires the strengthening of institutional guarantees to ensure that the people run the country based upon the principle of socialist consultative democracy and advance law-based governance.
The Party will deepen reforms within itself, government institutions and the system of government administration, consolidate and develop the patriotic united front, and consolidate and enhance political stability, unity, and vitality.
It will build stronger cultural confidence and help socialist culture to flourish. It will hold firmly the leading position in ideological work, cultivate and observe core socialist values, and raise intellectual and moral standards.
The Party will work to see socialist literature and art thrive, promote the development of cultural programmes and industries, and inspire the cultural creativity of China as a whole.
The Party will work to ensure the improvement of the people’s well being, strengthen and develop new approaches to social governance.
It will focus on the most pressing, most immediate issues of concern to the people and give priority to the development of education, improve the quality of employment, raise incomes, strengthen the social security system, eliminate poverty, carry out the Healthy China initiative, establish a social governance model based on collaboration, participation, and common interests, and effectively safeguard national security. All these initiatives should help ensure that China’s people always have a strong sense of fulfilment, happiness, and security.
In order to build a Beautiful China, the Party will promote green development, solve prominent environmental problems, intensify the protection of ecosystems, reform the environmental regulation system, and work to develop a new model of modernisation with humans developing in harmony with nature.
The thick haze seen in China’s major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing is one of most obvious aspects of the extent of environmental pollution due to such rapid industrial development.
Such problems of haze and polluted rivers were highlighted in developed countries such as the United States with the legendary smog over Los Angeles back in the 1960s, when demands to resolve the environmental problem grew louder and louder, resulting in governments adopting measures to curb environmental pollution in that country.
Environmental pollution was even greater especially in the industrial cities of the United Kingdom, the heart of the Industrial Revolution in which especially heavy industries primarily used coal for fuel and for electrical power generation, before measures were undertaken to clean up the environment.
Back in the 1950s and 60s, environmental pollution was not a major problem in developing countries in Asia but as these environmental protection measures were implemented in the advanced countries of the west, they resulted in higher costs for business, which alongside the need for lower labour costs to remain competitive, resulted in western industries moving their labour intensive and environmentally dirty operations to lower wage countries in Asia, including China.
These developing countries, including China welcomed these industries in order to provide employment opportunities for their people and also to acquire advanced technology to learn from and help build up the technological capabilities of their people.
Whilst China has so far tolerated environmental degradation as the price to pay for its development, now that she has achieved a certain level of development and prosperity, she now plans to gradually do away with these environmentally dirty industries in a planned manner from 2020 onwards.
In the area of defense, China will continue to build a strong, modernised armed forces, adapt military strategy to new conditions, build a powerful and modernised army, navy, air force, rocket force, and strategic support force, develop strong and efficient joint operational commands, create a modern combat system with distinctive Chinese characteristics and transform the people’s armed forces into world-class forces.
In order to maintain long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, China will fully and faithfully continue with her policies of “one country, two systems,” “the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong”, “the people of Macao governing Macao”, with and a high degree of autonomy for both regions, and to act in strict compliance with China’s Constitution and the basic laws of the two special administrative regions.
Mainland China’s compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao will share both the responsibility of national rejuvenation and the pride of a strong and prosperous China.
China will uphold the principles of “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems”, expand economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, encourage people from both sides to work together to promote Chinese culture, work for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and advance the process toward the peaceful reunification of China.
The context behind this is that following the victory of the Communists in the Chinese Civil War, the Nationalist Kuomintang led by Chiang Kai Shek fled to Taiwan island where they established the Republic of China as opposed to the People’s Republic of China proclaimed on the mainland by Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse Tung in 1949.
Even since then, the People’s Republic of China regards Taiwan as a “wayward province” which it hopes to re-integrate, preferably peacefully back into the People’s Republic, whilst especially the Kuomintang party in Taiwan have regarded mainland China as a part of the Republic of China and has been hoping to regain and re-unite the mainland into the Republic of China.
However, cross-Straits investments have been taking place between mainland China and Taiwan, with the Taiwan government having approved 252 China-bound investments in 2016, according to the Focus Taiwan News Channel of 20 January 2017. Focus Taiwan is a publication of Taiwan’s state-owned The Central News Agency.
According to a Reuters report of 11 March 2017, China companies have been investing in Taiwan but ran into opposition since Tsai Ing Wen from the Democratic Progressive Party was elected Taiwan President in 2016, with at least three major investments involving China’s state-backed giant Tsinghua Unigroup, which planed to invest three chip test and packaging firms based in Taiwan.
The three are the China state-backed chip makers ChipMOS Technologies Inc, Siliconware Precision Industries Co Ltd (SPIL) and Powertech Technology Inc.
President Tsai reportedly regards Tsinghua Unigroup’s investment plans as a “huge threat” to Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.
However, China’s Industry Minister Miao Wei told Reuters on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s parliament that economic cooperation between both sides of the Taiwan Strait had made huge progress in the last three decades since the two sides began their mutual rapprochement.
Enterprise TV hopes that this ongoing cross-Strait economic cooperation and relations will eventually lead to both sides letting political bygones be bygones and their respective peoples eventually coming to accept that they are one people and agree to reconcile their historical differences amicably.