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High-quality development prioritized for Chinese modernization

Author  :  LI JING, LIU YUE and BAN XIAOYUE     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2023-03-17

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that high-quality development is the first and foremost task in building a modern socialist country in all respects.

Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while attending a deliberation with his fellow deputies from the delegation of Jiangsu Province at the First Session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) on March 5.

At the deliberation, Xi called for efforts to fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, and better coordinate the effective upgrade in quality with the appropriate expansion in quantity in economic development. The country must unswervingly deepen reform and opening up and transform the development model to accelerate the formation of sustainable institutions and mechanisms for high-quality development, Xi said. China’s development must serve to continuously strengthen the people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness and security, Xi added.

High-quality development matters

The critical strategy of “high-quality development” was first put forward in the report to the 19th CPC National Congress, marking the transition of China’s economy from high-speed growth to high-quality development.

“High-quality development is not only an objective requirement for harmonious coexistence between human and nature, but also a necessary choice for humanity to constantly seek to improve the endogenous driver of development in openness and integration,” said Xi Guang, vice president of Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Xi Guang also regarded high-quality development as an important starting point for addressing climate change and environmental issues, and a core pillar for developing a green economy.

Since the 19th CPC National Congress, China has continuously optimized the traditional model that relied heavily on production factor input to fuel economic growth. Transitioning to a high-quality development model that drives growth through innovation is a strategy adopted after all aspects of economic and social development were comprehensively considered, Xi Guang said, adding that it is also a realistic path to meet the people’s growing needs for a better life.

Shi Jiayou, a professor of law at Renmin University of China (RUC), noted that the designation of high-quality development as the “first and foremost task” in building a modern socialist country in all respects indicates a shift in the development philosophy, which requires not only a reasonable increase in “quantity,” but also a focus on the improvement of “quality.”

No increment would mean no development, and without quality improvement, the people could hardly derive a sense of gain in the process of development, Shi said. “These are the two sides of the same coin.”

Chen Yongjun, a professor of economics at the RUC, believes that as the “first and foremost task” in building a modern socialist country in all respects, achieving high-quality development is not only determined by the laws of economic development and the ruling party’s logic of governance, but also lies in the scientific study and judgment of the development situation at home and abroad.

At present, China is in the process of rapid industrialization and informatization, and is experiencing profound changes unseen in the world in a century. This context underscores the necessity to adhere to high-quality development, focus on improving total factor productivity, and enhancing the resilience and security of the industrial chain and supply chain, in order to effectively deal with external risks and challenges as well as boost international competitiveness and influence, Chen said.

Building new development pattern

Accelerating the establishment of a new development pattern is the strategic priority in pursuing high-quality development, Xi said in the speech to the delegation of Jiangsu Province. He urged efforts to integrate the implementation of the strategy of expanding domestic demand with deepening supply-side structural reform, and modernize the industrial system in a speedier manner.

Gong Liutang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a professor from the applied economics department at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, put forward a few suggestions for building a new development pattern. The suggestions include accelerating the development of the digital economy and facilitating a modern industrial system; deepening the reform of the income distribution system to keep increasing the amount of residents’ income in the GDP; and promoting high-standard opening up to the outside world and enhancing the linkage effect of domestic and international markets and resources.

Editor: Yu Hui

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