A draft of the top-level blueprint for the country's economic and social development will be assessed during the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee, which is being held in Beijing from Monday to Thursday.
The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) will chart the course of the country's development over the next five years and generate far-reaching effects well beyond its final year.
China implemented its first five-year development plan in 1953 and it is fair to say that China's development has been charted by these plans. No matter how divergent policymakers might be on economic and social development when it comes to specific issues, once the five-year plan is settled, they will act on it accordingly and faithfully with targeted measures to perform the tasks outlined in the plan and a strict supervision mechanism to ensure they are achieved.
That over 90 percent of the tasks listed in the past three five-year plans since 2005 have been fulfilled speaks volumes of how pertinent and efficient the plan-making process is. The plans require not only that a true and complete picture of the country's current development stage be borne in mind but also a clear understanding of what needs to be done and how it is to be achieved. And the points of view of all walks of life need to be weighed and considered, so that the interests of different groups can be balanced with decisiveness and foresight.
Now that the realization of a moderately well-off society in all aspects will be materialized by the end of this year with abject poverty set to be eliminated for the first time in its history, the country's sights are set on the middle of the century.
President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has stated that the intervening years are to be divided into two 15-year periods, in which the country is to basically realize socialist modernization by 2035 and become a modern socialist strong country by 2050.
It is with these goals in mind that the 14th Five-Year Plan has been drawn up.
And the speech Xi delivered at the gathering to mark the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone on Oct 14 as well as the speech Vice-President Wang Qishan gave at a financial forum in Shanghai on Oct 24 offer clues to the specific orientation of the draft plan.
Xi made it clear that the country remains committed to reform and opening-up while Wang stressed the importance of the real economy.
Given the challenges the country faces in this critical stage of its development, intensive and extensive discussions and debates on the draft plan are essential to ensure the finalized plan is to-the-point, workable and people-centered.