China puts a clean revolution at the heart of its national development strategy

22 October 2010

Beijing, 21 October 2010: On 18th October, the Chinese Communist Party concluded its annual conference in Beijing, setting the tone for the upcoming 12th five-year plan.

Sustainability, balanced development, quality and rapid growth are listed among the major criteria of assessment of the country’s development in the coming decade. The plan will emphasize three key pillars that will drive a ‘clean revolution’ in China’s economic development over the next decade:

  • A restructure of China’s economy and industry
  • Scientific and technological progress and innovation
  • Establishing a resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly society

The plan is likely to include special support for key industrial sectors vital to establishing this modern industrial infrastructure including:

  • Increasing core competitiveness of Chinese industry
  • Improving and upgrading the country’s manufacturing infrastructure
  • incubating and cultivating the development of strategic new industries; speeding up development of service industries
  • Driving the construction of modern energy industry and integrated transport systems
  • Boosting the ICT sector across the board, and developing an ocean-based economic sector

Sustainable development is given particular emphasis in relation to coordinated regional economic development, stable urbanization, regional development strategy, regional function-based development strategy, improved urban planning etc. where environmental impacts, land use efficiency and other principles are highlighted for consideration.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group comments: “We welcome the direction and national strategy set by the top leadership for the country’s next five to ten year development. It is important that China has placed the notion of clean revolution at the heart of its national development strategy. We are confident that this will gear the country’s development towards a more efficient low carbon future.”

However, there are several key challenges that will need to be addressed to drive this economic and industrial restructure and to support new industries:

  • The foundation of new industries remains weak and key technology has not yet been refined. China’s new industries and clean technologies are still at an early stage of development, and the scale effect may take ten years to appear.
  • How China develops efficient policies to drive the technology development and guide the capital flow requires further attention from policy makers.
  • The action plan of local economic and industrial restructure is one of the key pillars of the whole plan. Local plans should be developed according to the real situation of each region, including the resources, knowledge, capabilities, etc. and not be too aggressive.
  • Industrial restructuring also needs a restructured labor force. Efforts to boost education and training are also a key foundation to development of new industries.

A more detailed plan will be submitted to the National People’s Congress for review and adoption next March in Beijing. We look forward to a more detailed 12th Five-Year Plan to be worked out in the next few months.

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