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China Lowdown: New 5-year plan will impact the whole world

This article is part of China Lowdown, WONKedition’s series to help you understand one of the world’s biggest super powers.

November 2020
US politics is certainly important for the rest of the world. Still, probably even more important for everyone’s future is what China plans to do in coming years. Right before the US election the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committed presented its new 5-year plan.

China’s size and growth make it as important or even more important than the US. The Economist said in 2017 that Chinese President Xi Jinping is the world’s most powerful man. The 5-year plan has been used since the 1950s as a map of the Chinese government’s priorities. The plan used to be important mostly for the Chinese only. Today, it affects everyone everywhere.

The updated 5-year plan states China aims to become less reliable on foreign technology and instead develop its own equipment and solutions to become a leader in innovation, reports Bloomberg. That’s after governments in the US and other countries have made it harder for Chinese businesses to sell products such as Huawei equipment and the TikTok app. Governments fear Chinese companies are collaborating with the Chinese government to spy on other countries.

Part of the new plan is also to allow more foreigners to do business in China. At the same time the government aims to make better use of local resources and wants its businesses to be less reliable on sales to customers outside China. Other points include goals to counter climate change, strengthen the military, and keep the ambition to control Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Read also China Lowdown: Leaders in Beijing are picked without elections. And check out Al Jazeera’s story China Pledges Tech Powerhouse, Quality Growth in 5-Year Plan.