The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) opened yesterday, Sunday 16th October 2022.
In the opening session, led by President Xi Jinping, the CPC unveiled its blueprint for building a modern socialist China over the next five years and beyond. The Chinese path to modernisation is one of the key takeaways from the report delivered by Xi to the opening session. To achieve modernisation, Xi said the industrial system will be reinvigorated with measures to advance new industrialization. The goal is to strengthen China’s capabilities in manufacturing, product quality, aerospace, transportation, cyberspace, and digital development.
Another key takeaway from today is that China’s tone on sovereignty continues to be resolute with the issue of sovereignty receiving more emphasis than at the 19th Congress. While stressing the importance of a peaceful approach to the reunification of Taiwan, Xi said China reserves the option of “taking all measures necessary” against “interference by outside forces.” Commenting on Hong Kong and Macau, Xi stated that the “one country, two systems” policy has proved to be the “best arrangement” and “should be adhered to in the long run.”
Other important commentary
China’s blueprint for the next five years
- Xi said that the Party’s ‘central task’ is to build a “great, modern, socialist country” by the middle of this century, realising socialist modernization by 2035.
- On international relations, President Xi referenced a “human community with a shared future.” In describing this further, he talked about China remaining “firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace.”
- Xi continued by saying China “has always decided its position and policy on issues based on the merits of those issues, and China has strived to uphold the basic norms governing international relations and to safeguard international fairness and justice.”
- A spokesperson for the congress commented on China’s “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy. The spokesperson referenced several key factors behind this strategy: China’s huge and aging population, the imbalance of development across the country, and inadequate medical resources. He emphasised bringing the epidemic “under control” with “minimum costs for society” and “in the shortest possible time.”
- State-owned media are interpreting President Xi’s comments on economic growth believing consumption will be the driving force and that steps should be taken to increase domestic demand.
- Over the past decade, China’s GDP has grown to RMB114 trillion (about US$15.8 trillion) from RMB54 trillion and now accounts for 18.5% of the world’s GDP.
- At the same time, China’s GDP per capita increased from RMB39,800 to RMB81,000.
- Xi reaffirmed his pledge to prioritize ecological protection, boost green and low-carbon industries, and eliminate serious air pollution