The 19th CPC National Congress Draws Blueprint for National Development


By staff reporter ZHANG HUI


THE 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) commenced in Beijing on October 18, 2017. The report, titled “Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” delivered by General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping highlighted the opening session. A blueprint for national development, the report remarks on the new era that China has entered and the evolved principal contradiction facing Chinese society, while laying out the CPC’s historic mission in the new era and the country’s mid- to long-term development goals and economic strategies.


Xi Jinping delivers a report on behalf of the 18th Central Committee of the CPC at the opening session of the 19th CPC National Congress in Beijing on October 18, 2017.


The report was discussed and reviewed by the 2,200-plus delegates at the congress, some of whom shared their opinions with China Today.


A New Historic Juncture


Hailing the achievements in all respects of the CPC and the country in the past five years, Xi affirmed in his report that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era, which signifies a new historic juncture in China’s development. He, however, stressed that the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved into that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.


“The report is fundamental to setting priorities for future development and drawing up relevant policies,” said Jiang Jinquan, chief inspector of the Inspector’s Office of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection at State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). “In this new era, improving the quality of progress plays the key role in tackling the challenges of unbalanced and inadequate development,” he added.


Another delegate, Yang Baofeng, president of Harbin Medical University and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, expressed his deep admiraton for the nation’s progress in the past five years. “Having benefited from a series of policies to stimulate innovation, the country has made breakthroughs in the medical and healthcare sectors,” Yang said. For instance, with the assistance of robots, Chinese doctors can now carry out minimally invasive spine surgery procedures with an overall accuracy of within one millimeter, which is impossible by human hand. Moreover, in recent years, Yang and his team have discovered new, groundbreaking substances and mechanisms from their studies of coronary heart disease, angina, and sudden cardiac death. “We have identified biological markers that help to detect the people most likely to suffer a heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest. Based on the new findings, we are researching new medications with a number of pharmaceutical companies,” Yang explained. A sequence of changes has been introduced in China’s public healthcare sector in the last few years. For example, a zero-markup policy for drugs and reduced fees for some medical examinations could save each patient nearly 30 percent in healthcare costs. “Many long-standing issues were finally resolved in the past years,” said Yang.


Parents with their kids visit Tian’anmen Square in Beijing on October 16, 2017.


According to Chen Xiaoling, party branch secretary of a PetroChina gas station in Luzhou, Sichuan Province, one of the new trends in the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics is highlighted through people’s growing aspiration for a better life – higher incomes, more diversified culture and lifestyles, among many others. She believes that the changes that have taken place in people’s lives can be observed in a gas station. “I have seen the rapid rise of private-owned cars. Besides, improvements in infrastructure have enabled self-drive tours to boom. I can see happiness on everyone’s face,” Chen said.


From Independence and Affluence to Strength


In his report, Xi noted that the Chinese nation, which in modern times has endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation – it has stood up, grown rich, and become strong; and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation.


Xiao Yaqing, SASAC chairperson, believes that some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) should propel themselves to a leading role among their global peers, and to exert influence within the international arena.


His opinion is shared by Shu Yinbiao, chairman of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). SGCC has grown into the world’s biggest electric utility company and has been ranked second on the Fortune Global 500 list for two consecutive years. “We are determined to work harder to build ourselves into a transnational energy enterprise with outstanding technological innovation ability and international competitiveness,” Shu remarked, adding that SGCC is one of the SOEs in China that is changing from simply being large in scale to being competent.


Visitors view models of Fu-xing (meaning Rejuvenation) bullet train at an exhibition in Beijing displaying China’s outstanding achievements over the past five years on October 7, 2017.


According to Shu, SGCC has endeavored to promote reforms in energy consumption, supply, technology improvement, and mechanisms, and facilitated international cooperation in an all-round way in the past five years. With a cumulative investment of RMB 2.1 trillion in China’s power grid, the company leads the world as regards installed capacity connected to the grid of new energy. Shu attributed the achievements China has made since the 18th CPC National Congress held in 2012 to the Party’s leadership with Xi Jinping at the core, which will continue to be the basic guarantee for socialist construction in the new era. He considered Xi’s report as a guideline for the future development of energy enterprises, and revealed that SGCC will exert more significant efforts in various aspects, including Party-building work, power grid construction, independent innovation, as well as company reforms.


Share China’s Wisdom with the World


Xi’s report states that socialism with Chinese characteristics’ having entered into a new era signifies how the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have been constantly developing, so blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a unique option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, and offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing humankind.


Yang Baofeng said: “China’s path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics has strong vitality and has gained growing attention and praise from international society.”


“When I gave a lecture at the University of Melbourne in 2014, I introduced the development of medical and healthcare services in China and the achievements of my research team. The experts and heads of the university were amazed that China has achieved such immense and fast-paced development. They asked me how China could have achieved this, and I explained to them that the secret lies in a good system and leadership,” said Yang at a panel discussion of delegates from Heilongjiang Province. Yang said that his Australian friends all agreed with him that China’s system has proved to be successful.


Yang, who has visited many countries and regions around the world, said that more and more foreign scholars admit the advantages of China’s system. “China’s efficient government can pool the energy necessary to carry out reforms,” Yang said. “Witnessing the significant changes in our country, I truly feel that the CPC is great, and the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core is far-sighted,” he added.


A New Vision for Developing a Modernized Economy


The report showed that China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to high-quality development. This is a pivotal stage for transforming our growth model, optimizing our economic structure, and fostering new drivers of growth. It is imperative that we develop a modernized economy. This is both an urgent requirement for getting us smoothly through this critical transition and a strategic goal for China’s development. The report affirmed that efforts will be made to further supply-side structural reform, make China an innovative country, implement a rural vitalization strategy, coordinate regional development, accelerate efforts to improve the socialist market economy, and create new ground in pursuing opening-up on all fronts.


Miao Wei, minister of Industry and Information Technology and a delegate attending the 19th National Congress, said that over the past five years, the ministry has stuck to the path of developing new industrialization with Chinese characteristics, and unveiled and implemented the “Made in China 2025” plan, making brilliant achievements in industrial and communication sectors. He pointed out that, regarding comprehensive strength, China’s industrial and communication sectors have maintained stable operation and moved in the positive direction, with the total industrial scale continuing to rise, making China the world’s largest manufacturer and major network power. Regarding innovation capability building, a market-oriented innovation system with enterprises playing a decisive role, and a focus on both technological development and practical application has been improved. Breakthroughs have been made in such sectors as aerospace, high-end equipment, and high-performance computing, as well as new generation mobile communication. Military-civilian integration has been accelerated, and new drivers to boost economic growth have been fostered. In terms of optimizing structure, supply-side structural reform has made further headway. Efforts to cut overcapacity, lower costs, and strengthen weaknesses have yielded obvious results. The growth rates of strategic emerging industries and advanced manufacturing are faster than overall industrial growth, with new models and new forms emerging. Regarding the in-depth integration of industrialization and informatization, China has made remarkable progress in boosting intelligent manufacturing. Internet-based platforms for mass entrepreneurship and innovation are growing fast. China has built the world’s largest 4G network and is accelerating the research and application of 5G technology. The country also leads the world in the development of Internet economy.


Standing at a new starting point, Miao pointed out that China will accelerate efforts to build itself into a strong manufacturer and network power. Five projects under the “Made in China 2025” plan had been launched by the end of last year, including establishing a national center for manufacturing innovation, the creation of a robust industrial base, boosting basic manufacturing, green manufacturing, and high-end equipment innovation, with the aim of effectively enhancing the competitiveness of China’s manufacturing sector.


Miao said that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will continue to focus on the follows aspects: pushing ahead with the implementation of the above-mentioned five projects, establishing national level demonstration areas for the “Made in China 2025” plan, launching a new round of programs to upgrade and transform critical technologies, and continuing to optimize the development environment for the manufacturing industry.


Miao emphasized that foreign and domestic manufacturers are treated equally under the “Made in China 2025” plan. “We have upheld the principle of opening up and joint development, and have established cooperation mechanisms with countries such as the U.S. and Germany, launching extensive cooperation with our partners in terms of strategy coordination, establishing industry standards, and industrial park construction, and have seen substantial results, creating a benign market environment for cooperation among enterprises,” said Miao.


Moreover, the report also outlined a two-step approach to realize the second centenary goal from 2020 to the middle of this century. In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society, with a further 15 years of hard work, to see that socialist modernization is basically realized. In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, we will, building on our basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.


Those targets are also hot topics for delegates, who believe we are setting clear goals and are on the right path to achieving them.