China’s annual session of parliament will chart a course for economic recovery and unveil a five-year plan to fend off stagnation, as strategic rivalry with the United States spurs a shift to reliance on consumption and home-grown technology, reported Reuters.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) opens Friday, when Premier Li Keqiang will deliver the 2021 work report, which for a second consecutive year is not expected to include an explicit economic growth target, sources have said, due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the same day, China will also release its 14th five-year plan, a blueprint for 2021-2025 that calls for quickening reforms to unleash fresh growth drivers and make the economy more innovative. Reuters sources have said a goal of the plan will be to achieve economic growth averaging around 5%.
“The 14th 5-year plan will give science, technology and innovation near-absolute priority,” China Policy, a Beijing-based consultancy, said in a recent report. “Beyond raising productivity, boosting consumption, revitalising the countryside and cleaning up the environment, becoming a sci-tech powerhouse is an issue of national security,” China Policy said.