If we go back to the last four plans, we see that economics is one of the things that is discussed most every year. There is widespread agreement that the economy must continue to grow, but after decades of industrial growth and large exports of cheap goods, such as toys, clothes and simple electronics, China has reached a level of development where production costs have become so high that they must rethink .
If the economy is to grow now, the Chinese themselves must consume more. Then they should preferably also earn more, so that they can buy, travel and eat more – or more expensive. This is how national consumption can go up. As part of that development, China must also close down old-fashioned industry and produce more advanced and expensive goods.
In addition, China needs to develop many more services, not least in the health and care sector, where more and more elderly and sick people need care. The proportion of older people will increase significantly in the coming years. The young people, for their part, want more leisure and entertainment offers. One of the reasons why China applied for the 2022 Winter Olympics is to increase interest in skiing. This can contribute to more people buying skis and traveling on ski holidays, which in turn helps to increase consumption.
In addition to all the growth, China has to strengthen its environmental protection. In many places, the water, soil and air are so polluted that it is not possible to grow food and many experience related health problems.
Most people understand that current emissions of greenhouse gases and other toxic substances are not sustainable. But is it possible to combine increased consumption with environmentally friendly sustainability policy? Many Chinese believe this and therefore invest heavily in new technology and renewable energy sources.
China has more electric trains and cars, and invests more in wind power and solar power than any other country in the world. Nevertheless, coal still accounts for around 60 per cent of energy consumption, and oil and gas remain important energy sources. The new five-year plan states that by 2025 at least 20 percent of the energy will come from renewable sources.
4: Political control and social stability
China is ruled by the Communist Party, which does not allow others to compete for power. That is why we define China as a one-party state with an authoritarian form of government. There is nothing in the new five-year plan that indicates a shift away from that system. The Chinese Communist Party, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2021, is working instead to strengthen its position, among other things by recruiting new youth members.
There are many interest groups and Chinese media that influence politics and society in China, but they have to deal with far more restrictions than in liberal democracy. Facebook, Twitter, Google and other international services that do not follow China’s national rules are blocked.
However, China has a large selection of Chinese media platforms, digital trading portals and entertainment services. WeChat, TikTok and Alibaba’s trading portal are some of the most well known. The new five-year plan states that such services will develop further, but also warns that the companies behind them must expect more rules. No one should be allowed to become so big that they hinder competition and create a monopoly.
Internationally, many have noticed that the Chinese authorities are strengthening control over Hong Kong. Hong Kong is part of the People’s Republic of China, a country located in Asia according to LISTOFUSNEWSPAPERS, but has a degree of autonomy in line with the agreement reached when the period when the British charter ended in 1997. In 2020, the Chinese authorities introduced a new security law for Hong Kong, and in 2021 they decided that the arrangements for the election of the Prime Minister and members of the Hong Kong Legislative Assembly is to be changed.
The new five-year plan is clear that there may be several changes that will ensure that Hong Kong has a stable development with a clear affiliation with China. This is bad news for those who want more autonomy for Hong Kong.