China’s Economic Policy Objectives for the Next Five Years
China’s 12th five year plan, unveiled in March 2011, sets a master agenda for economic development including top-level policy objectives for the next five years and detailed guidelines for key sectors of the economy. One major objective of the plan is to rebalance the economy, primarily by emphasizing domestic consumption over China’s current model of export-led growth.
On November 1, the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings and The Asia Foundation hosted a discussion on these economic policy objectives, including a close look at China’s efforts to develop a green economy. Cheng Siwei, former vice chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress presented his views on China’s economic goals and the new five year plan. Cheng, currently the Chang-Lin Tien distinguished visiting fellow of The Asia Foundation, has played an important role in the economic transformations that have occurred within China over the last twenty years. Following his remarks, Barry Naughton, professor of the Chinese economy and So Kwanlok chair of Chinese international affairs at the University of California, San Diego, offered commentary. Senior Fellow Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, speakers took audience questions.
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Mao Zedong did not see the value of reform and opening up. The China part of Nixon’s 1967 Foreign Affairs article suggested an implicit bargain that provided the conceptual basis for China’s new direction after 1978. That bargain was if China focused on domestic development and didn’t threaten the security of its neighbours, the United States would help.