During this year’s two sessions, the country’s annual top-level political meetings, President Xi Jinping has stressed the need for high-quality growth in the context of a new development philosophy.

In previous periods, the primary economic objective was to achieve high GDP growth. But now, growth alone is insufficient when it comes to reflecting China’s continued development. Other factors, like environmental protection, employment and incomes, have taken on greater importance.

Ensuring future growth is of a high standard and guarantees continued improvements in quality of life: This is the foundation of China’s future development.

High-quality development will be a top priority for China’s social and economic progress in the next five years and beyond, and it’s essential to the success of the country’s socialist modernization drive.

But these new ideas are not only meant for the realm of economics. They affect all aspects of socioeconomic development.

Alvin Lin, China Climate and Energy Policy director of the Natural Resource Defense Council, noticed the Chinese emphasis on green development.

“The targets in the new 14th Five-Year Plan show that China is continuing to shift its development model, focusing on high-quality development and ecological protection, rather than unbalanced GDP growth.”

“Now the Five-Year Plan does set continued environmental and climate change targets that include continued reductions in energy and carbon intensity, increasing non-fossil or zero carbon energy consumption, improving air and water quality, and boosting forest cover,” Lin said.

“Central officials are telling local officials and enterprises that the quality of the living environment that they create for citizens is just as important as purely economic growth, and that both need to be better balanced in the future,” Lin added.

Jiang Ying, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and vice-chairwoman of Deloitte China, speculated how the government could improve the quality of growth.

“The government is likely to focus on improving the quality of growth, first by addressing the uneven recovery between investment and consumption through more efforts to support small and medium enterprises and consumers in 2021,” she said.

And Jiang elaborated further in three aspects.

First, the key effort is to expand domestic demand, which is the strategic foundation of China’s new development pattern.

Second is to accelerate scientific and technological innovation, which is central to unlock the domestic economic cycle and shape China’s active position in the global economy.

Third is to continue to improve the quality of opening-up by allowing more investment into China.

High-quality development, with its focus on people’s lives and happiness, does not mean the end of growth. But that growth must be innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared, as Xi himself has said.

SOURCE China Daily

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