China’s leadership will start discussions today to set the country’s long-term priorities, with Beijing expected to focus on boosting technological self-sufficiency and domestic demand, reported the Financial Times.
The Fifth Plenum, a meeting of the Communist party’s leadership, will run until Thursday. It will conduct the country’s most important goal-setting exercise, drafting the next Five-Year Plan, against the backdrop of a worsening global economy and US sanctions. The plenum will also discuss a broad plan for the next 15 years, said the FT.
The process to draft a plan typically reveals the biggest worries and priorities for the Chinese leadership. Beijing has hinted it would broaden out its focus on economic growth to include targets for environmental protection, innovation and self-sufficient development — such as in food, energy, and in chips.
China has for decades valued technological self-sufficiency, but “there’s an important shift coming in the next five years”, said Samm Sacks, cyber security policy fellow at New America, a Washington-based think-tank. “The government is now looking to keep more of the advances of its homegrown tech sector inside China, especially R&D and expertise gleaned from foreign companies,” added Sacks.