At the end of October 2020, in the Chinese capital,Beijing has traditionally hosted the second most important domestic political event of the People’s Republic of China – the 5th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC Central Committee) of the 19th convocation. At this meeting, the main provisions of the country’s policy for the coming years are fixed.

During the plenary session, CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping made a detailed report on the work, and also presented the recommendations of the CPC Central Committee on the draft Plan for the Socio-Economic Development of the People’s Republic of China for 2021-2025 (the”14th Five-year Plan”) and the country’s long-term development goals for the period up to 2035.

During the 5th plenary noted that the implementation period 
“13th five-year plan” (2016-2020) was a decisive step for the complete building a moderately prosperous society in the country, a key indicator of which was the victory over absolute poverty in 2020 (for the Chinese leadership, this is one of the key strategies in the development of the country and determines the efficiency of the CPC).
Thus, during the implementation of the “13th Five-year plan”, about 55.75 million poor people in rural areas of the People’s Republic of China got rid of poverty (in just 40 years of development and reforms, more than 850 million Chinese people got out of poverty and increased their well-being).

If earlier this task had a political significance (the influence of the CPC as a people’s party was based on this), now in the new conditions it has an economic context. China has invested in the well-being of its citizens for several decades. Now it is this human capital (transformed into a powerful consumer market) that will be the new driver of economic growth.

Another major achievement is in maintaining economic growth. At the same time, it is noted that China’s GDP in 2020, according to forecasts, will exceed the mark of 100 trillion yuan (14.9 trillion dollars).
Despite all the global drama called “COVID-19”, China became the only one of the 48 major economies in which GDP in the second quarter was higher than in the same period of 2019. Despite the trade war with the United States and falling global demand, China even managed to increase exports and a positive trade balance.

According to various expert estimates, the growth of Chinese GDP by the end of 2020 can be estimated in the range of 1-4% per annum. The GDP per capita of the People’s Republic of China at the end of 2019 amounted to $ 10,262, which laid a solid foundation for achieving the level of “moderately developed countries” by 2035, reducing the time frame by 15 years (in 1987 Deng Xiaoping said that China will reach this level by 2050).

China is responding to the changing external environment. Given the dramatically changed conditions of international cooperation and the unstable geopolitical situation, including the growing “irritation” of Western countries with the dynamic development of China, the” 14th Five-year plan ” will prepare the PRC for internal economic challenges and increasing external tensions.

Against this background, the Chinese leader presented a “double cyclical” strategy, which assumes a reorientation to the domestic market of the People’s Republic of China to ensure better interconnection between domestic and foreign markets for more stable and flexible growth.

In terms of content, the project of the “14th five-year plan” will affect the following areas:
– development of the political system and strengthening of the rule of law;
– economic modernization based on new principles;
– increasing the external openness of the country;
– further development of rural areas;
– strengthening environmental protection and a new environmental policy;
– strengthening the innovation potential;
– development of culture, art and national education;
– improving the level of medicine and strengthening the health care system;
– social security with an emphasis on employment growth and increasing the income of the population.

Experts associate the beginning of a qualitatively new stage with the “14th five-year plan”, which implies the country’s promotion to a leading position in the world in terms of technological development.
The developed model of development of the People’s Republic of China will be focused on qualitative growth and self-sufficiency in the field of science and technology. The country focuses on technological independence, especially the development and production of “semiconductors”, which are the basis of all advanced technologies: artificial intelligence, 5G networks, supercomputers and quantum computing.

Among the key areas are renewable energy sources, materials science, transport using new energy sources, biotechnology and space exploration (in the summer of 2020, China has already sent its first Tianwen-1 probe to Mars to study the planet). The final plan until 2025 will be approved during the next session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) (approximately in March 2021).

What conclusions can be drawn from President Xi’s speech at the CPC plenum?
First, China is changing again. This change is probably based on the understanding that the previous sources of growth are no longer working. The plan of the “14th five-year plan” will focus on structural changes and improving the quality of economic growth.

It is assumed that the changes will be qualitative and will affect the main aspects for which the People’s Republic of China is criticized today: technological efficiency (innovations made in China), the rule of law (including in the field of intellectual property) and environmental friendliness (reducing emissions and protecting the environment).

The new tasks in the complex affect all spheres of state development. The country plans to significantly increase its efficiency by 2025, rise to the level of world leaders of an innovative type and make a breakthrough in promising technologies

Secondly, the analysis of the key priorities of the “14th five-year plan” shows that China is striving to further reduce its dependence on foreign markets, focusing exclusively on domestic consumption (the strength of the one and a half billion market of consumers who increase their well-being). American experts say that China’s successes are increasing international tensions.

As a result, the United States is actively creating an anti-Chinese coalition, which includes Japan, India and Australia (it is assumed that the likely change of the American president will not lead to changes in Washington’s policy).

Thus, focusing on domestic potential and reducing dependence on international partnership will balance external pressure

Thirdly, now the course of Chinese development is comprehensive self-sufficiency. The model of China’s development is changing dramatically – if for almost 40 years the Chinese economy was the locomotive for the growth of the world economy, today it is the opposite.

Trade with the outside world (focus on high-quality imports) will become the driver of the growth of the Chinese economy, and the almost one and a half billion sales market against the background of improving the welfare of society will be the basis for a new growth cycle of the PRC.

The international import exhibitions that have been held for several years are a kind of preparation of exporters for future work on the Chinese market.
Fourth, thus, it is expected that in the coming years China will strive to become the number one global market, and the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, apparently, will become a priority channel of trade and economic communication.

For 7 years, the belt and road formed the political and economic foundations of cooperation between almost 120 countries of the world and the PRC. The World Bank experts also spoke about the real economic growth opportunities of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative in their study with different scenarios for the development of transport corridors (…/211392RU.pdf…).

During this time, stable transport corridors were formed, which, in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only continued their work, but also increased productivity. For example, the transit of goods through Kazakhstan for the first six months of 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, increased by 54%.
Thus, in the coming years, China will focus on receiving quality goods and services from outside. What does this mean?

Additional opportunities for export to the Chinese market are opening up for all partners of the PRC, and for neighboring countries in particular. This, in particular, coincides with the policy of Kazakhstan on the development of exports of products produced in Kazakhstan.
It can also be assumed that access to the Chinese market will be an incentive to increase the productivity of Kazakhstan’s manufacturing industry, agriculture and the service sector (thus, a change in the structure of the Chinese economy may become an incentive to change the structure of Kazakhstan’s exports to China towards value-added goods).

In general, there is already a trend of a consistent increase in the supply of Kazakh products and raw materials to the People’s Republic of China with a decrease in Chinese supplies to the Republic of Kazakhstan. For example, recent trade statistics show that the Kazakh-Chinese economic cooperation continues to grow steadily.

According to the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, in January-August this year, the trade turnover between China and Kazakhstan reached $ 13.2 billion, an increase of 1% compared to last year. Including China’s exports to Kazakhstan amounted to $ 6.4 billion, a decrease of 10.6%, and imports from Kazakhstan – $ 6.8 billion, an increase of 14.8%. 

China Studies Centre,

Nur-Sultan, 2020

Number of shows: 1471