China Leadership Monitor

The New Common Economic Program: China's 11th Five Year Plan and What It Means

Sunday, October 30, 2005

China's New 11th Five Year Plan proposals are remarkable, both for what they contain, and for how they were created. The proposals set few quantitative targets and no specific industrial policies or programs. Instead, they present a program for government action designed to ensure that rapid growth will be sustainable over the long term, and that the fruits of growth will be more equitably shared. The document was drawn up through a broadly consultative—but also tightly scripted—process. However, its recommendations are broad and abstract, and in many cases specific policies needed to implement the recommendations do not exist. Both the Plan and the manner in which it was drawn up are highly characteristic of the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao administration. As such, the plan should be seen as this administration's economic program.