Workers wearing protective garment labor at a high-tech company in Suqian city in eastern Jiangsu province. Photo: AFP

China’s communist leaders are expected to emphasize the development of high technology and new energy sectors in their next five-year plan for the country.

The 14th Five-Year Plan is due to be announced after the closure of the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on October 29. The session started in Beijing on Monday.

According to the practice in 2016, the plan will be announced on Thursday evening. Ministries and government departments will elaborate on it in the following days.

The plan will determine not only China’s economic and social development between 2021 and 2025, but also the country’s long-term plan to become a “great modern socialist country” over the next three decades, Li Junri, former vice-president of the Central Party School of the CPC, told China News Agency in a recent interview.

Li said that President Xi Jinping, in his role as General Secretary of the Party, had unveiled in 2017 China’s plan to realize socialist modernization in the first stage from 2020 to 2035 and develop itself into a “great modern socialist country” that is “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful” in the second phase from 2036 to 2050.

Li said China would realize socialist modernization by 2035, 15 years earlier than the timetable set by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, as the country had established a socialist market economy system and joined the World Trade Organization.

He said the 14th Five-Year Plan was extraordinarily important because it would affect the country’s development in the following 25 years.

Two weeks ago, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam postponed announcement of her fourth Policy Address, which was set to be released on October 14.

She said Tuesday that she would visit Beijing between November 4 and 6 to meet Chinese ministers and see how Hong Kong could contribute to and benefit from the plan. She said she would deliver the address in late November.

Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Wang Zhijun said in a Beijing media briefing on Monday that China had already accelerated its transformation from “made in China” to “intelligent manufacturing” between 2016 and 2020 and would continue to increase the pace of its industry upgrade.

Wang said the country would build pilot zones and support some advanced manufacturers to nurture a group of world-class enterprises in 2021-2025.

Wang said China would improve the quality of its industrial products, as well as the efficiency and core competitiveness of its manufacturers, and try to create more “Chinese standards” and “Chinese crafts.” He said 5G, integrated circuit and biomedical sectors would be China’s main focus in the next decade.

In May 2018, Xi said China could ensure its national economic and security safety by having its core technologies and achieving breakthroughs. Citing the past many cases, he said core technologies could not be purchased or obtained easily.

A year after Xi’s speech, Huawei Technologies, the Shenzhen-based telecom equipment maker, saw a supply chain problem due to United States sanctions. Its 5G projects also faced setbacks in Europe.

China would achieve breakthroughs in semiconductors, 5G applications, Internet of Things, driverless vehicles and other essential technologies over the coming five to 10 years, according to a research report published by Zhongtai Securities. New information technology would be a key theme in the 14th Five Year Plan, said the report.

As China would increase its efforts in “green development” in 2021-25, new energy car and solar and wind power would receive a strong policy boost, said Zhou Jingtong, a senior economist at the Bank of China’s Institute of International Finance. Supportive measures would be launched for these sectors in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in China, Zhou said.

Dual circulation, which refers to domestic consumption and external trade, would be a focus in the 14th Five-Year Plan, said Wang Tao, head of Asia economics and chief China economist of UBS Investment Bank.

The growth rate of the Chinese economy in 2021-25 could be lowered than the 6.5% growth target in the 2016-2020 period but the country would emphasize more balanced and sustainable growth, Wang said.

China would stimulate its domestic consumption and further open up under the “dual circulation” direction while step-by-step implementing its urbanization plan and infrastructure projects, she said.

The country would also continue to support the small and medium-sized enterprises and improve its social security system, she added.

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