China’s ruling Communist Party concluded a key annual conclave outlining new long-term targets for boosting innovation and military strength, eyeing what it called “an important strategic period” for fulfilling its ambitions at home and abroad.

What is the plan?

  • The four-day plenum of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Committee announced three goals to be achieved by 2025, 2027 and 2035 — a 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) that emphasises boosting domestic consumption and innovation, a national security and defence modernisation plan ahead of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) centennial in 2027, and a ‘Vision 2035’ longer-term economic blueprint that calls for “big leaps” in economic strength and technological prowess.
  • The communique said China’s GDP would cross 100 trillion yuan (around $15 trillion) this year, and the new economic blueprint, which did not announce a specific GDP target, would broadly push for China to double its GDP and current per capita GDP of $10,000 by 2035. That would require a real GDP growth of around 3.5% annually.
  • While the communique mainly focused on economic issues, it also outlined China’s national security plans and a goal to establish the PLA as a modern force by 2027 to realise what it called “the unity of a rich country and a strong Army”. It stressed the importance of informatisation and to “strengthen military training and war preparation”.

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