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‘Progress while maintaining stability’ serves as motto for national economy

Author  :  Zhou Liqun     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-03-28

Making progress while maintaining stability is a development concept. It is the general trend of China’s economic development. After many years of rapid growth, China has become a large economy. Now its development path, tempo and mechanisms are changing.

Maintaining stability does not mean stagnation and indolence. Rather, it comprises three inherent meanings.

One is to coordinate the internal relationship within the large economy, including relations between rural and urban areas, home and abroad, supply and demand, as well as between economic development and the environment. Coordination not only resolves conflicts and friction but also helps to create new development momentum.

The second is to come out of the extensive economic growth mode and lay a solid foundation for further development. The third is to be poised for takeoff, creating more development space for the future.

Stability is the basis and precondition for progress, while making progress is the goal and direction. Currently, there are four aspects we should consider when making progress.

One is transformation, that is, to change the economic development mode, including momentum, path and mechanisms. As the traditional driving forces of the economy weaken or fade away, it is necessary to foster new momentum. In recent years, mass entrepreneurship, mass innovation and the Internet Plus program have opened new sources for acquiring new economic engines. In terms of development path, the factor-driven model should be transformed into a model driven by efficiency and innovation. With regard to development mechanism, the emphasis should be shifted from speed and quantity to quality, which can be realized by industrial upgrading and restructuring.

The second is optimizing the combination of production factors and variables, with the goals of creating the optimized structure, pattern, policy, environment and ecology. This is an internal process, and the supply-side reform is one important measure, which is to upgrade the quality of supply through cutting overcapacity, destocking, deleveraging, reducing costs and identifying growth areas. Of course, optimization also includes the coordinated and harmonious development of the economy, society and environment.

The third is innovation. Innovation is the first impetus for development. The central government has called for making the contribution of technological progress to economic growth reach 60 percent in 2020, while the country will be powerful in innovation and talent by then. Innovation also means cultivating new industries, measures, mechanisms and more. The new round of technological and industrial reform brings about the extensive use of big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things as well the development of intelligent industries, which all bring radical changes to production and living modes.

The fourth is sustainability. We should not seek quick and temporary progress. We should make firm and steady progress and strive for sustainable development. Long-term perspective and exploring potential are now embodied in the development plans and strategies of the country as well as provinces and regions.

One thing to note is “making progress while maintaining stability” has been the motto of Chinese economic development in recent years. But it should not be considered only as a guideline for making policies and theoretical interpretation. It must be converted into practical actions in all industries and regions.


Zhou Liqun is professor and executive vice-president of Binhai Development Research Institute of Nankai University.

Editor: Yu Hui

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