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China’s Vision for the Next 30 Years

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SHANGHAI – Every five years, the Communist Party of China convenes a National Congress, where two key decisions are made: who will lead China for the next five years, and what path to development those leaders will follow. The CPC’s recently completed 19th National Congress did all that and more.

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Beyond choosing the next Politburo Standing Committee, the 19th Party Congress reelected President Xi Jinping as the CCP’s leader and added his eponymous ideology – “Xi Jinping Thought” – to the Party’s charter. The Congress also produced a blueprint for the country’s future development until 2050, one that reflects the changes that economic reform and opening have brought to China.

At the CPC’s 13th National Congress, in October 1987, China’s leaders declared that the “major contradictions” facing the country were those between “people’s growing material and cultural needs and the backwardness of social production.” In other words, the key challenge was to produce enough food, clothing, and books for all Chinese.

Thirty years later, the major contradiction China faces is that between “rising demand for higher standards of living and the constraints imposed by insufficient and unbalanced economic development.” In his address to the 19th Party Congress, Xi declared that, because China can........

© Project Syndicate