Mon, Jan 03, 2011 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: China’s Five-Year Plan veering toward unification

By Tzou Jiing-wen  /  Liberty Times Staff Reporter

China has recently announced its 12th Five-Year Plan for national development. In an interview with Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) staff reporter Tzou Jiing-wen, director of the First Research Division at the Chung Hua Institution for Economic Research Chang Jung-feng said the parts of the plan dealing with Taiwan focus on carrying out negotiations and signing agreements that will be used as three different paths to promote unification

TT: Could you please analyze China’s 12th Five-Year Plan from a strategic viewpoint?

Chang Jung-feng (張榮豐): The “recommendations” in the Five-Year Plan are assessments of the strategic environment between this year and 2015 and of China’s current strengths and weaknesses.

This includes, first, an assessment on the external environment that states that peace, development and cooperation continue to be the current trends; second, the fact that the effects of the recent financial crisis are still around; third, that global growth is slowing down and that China therefore cannot merely rely on exports to drive its economic growth; fourth, intensifying market, skilled labor, technological and standards competition; and, fifth, the need to pay increasing attention to climate change, energy, resources and food safety.

China perceives its advantages to be, first, that the socialist political system gives China the advantage of being able to concentrate resources quicker in response to crises; second, that China has made strong inroads in terms of industrialization, the increased use of information technology, urbanization, marketization and internationalization; third, that the increase in GDP per capita has given China’s internal demand market much more potential and fourth, that the government’s macro-control abilities have gotten stronger.

China perceives its disadvantages to be first, that further limits need to be put on resources and the environment used in the process of economic development; second, that an imbalance has occurred between investment and consumption; third, that the proportion of resident income to national income is continuously falling; fourth, that China is not strong in terms of technological innovation; fifth, that the structure of China’s industries is not logical; sixth, that the foundations of agriculture are -being -weakened; seventh, that there is a gap in development in urban and rural areas, and eighth, that there are contradictions in overall employment and employment structures.

China has also set three hopes for the future: image, goals and core values.

When China faces a major strategic choice, their core values will become the main criteria for making decisions. These criteria include [former Chinese president] Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) idea that “Development is the indisputable truth” (發展是硬道理), [former Chinese president] Jiang Zemin’s (江澤民) idea of the “Three represents” (三個代表) and [Chinese President] Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) “Scientific Development Concept” (科學發展觀).

As far as image is concerned, the first point deals with the image of economic development: The demand side should be driven by investment, consumption and exports, while the supply side should be driven by the agricultural, manufacturing and service sectors. The second point deals with the image of production methods: scientific advancement, a highly skilled work force and innovative management. The third point deals with the image that economic growth is equally shared by all citizens. The fourth point deals with the image of energy savings and environmental friendliness and the fifth point deals with the image of a socio--political system beneficial to technological developments and the equal sharing of opportunity.

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