Understanding Xi's Quote on High-quality Development

Source: China Daily | 2023-03-17 15:56

High-quality development is the first and foremost task in building a modern socialist country in all respects.

— Chinese President Xi Jinping

Quote backgrounder: President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China 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, China's national legislature, on March 5, 2023. The quote was first mentioned in Xi's report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2022.

During the deliberation, Xi stressed:

•Speeding up efforts toachieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technologyis the path we must take to promote high-quality development.

•Accelerating the creation of a new development patternis the strategic foundation for promoting high-quality growth.

•Strong agriculture is the foundation of a strong modern socialist country, andpromoting agricultural modernizationis a prerequisite for achieving high-quality development.

•Promoting high-quality development isfor the wellbeing of the people.

About high-quality development:

High-quality development wasfirst raised by the CPC leadership in 2017.

China's economy has beentransitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development, Xi said in his report at the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017.

China will unswervingly advance high-quality development on the new journey of building a great modern socialist country and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Xi said when addressing the closing meeting of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress.

Thepriorities of high-quality development, as he set forth during the deliberation, includeachieving greater self-reliance in science and technology,creating a new development pattern, andpromoting agricultural modernization.

— Science and technology

•Sci-tech innovation has played a decisive rolein promoting China's high-quality development and modernization drive.

•In 2022, China's totalexpenditure on research and development(R&D) amounted to 3.1 trillion yuan (450 billion dollars), up 10.4 percent year-on-year, maintaining adouble-digit growth for seven consecutive years.

•China saw itsranking in the Global Innovation Indexjump from 34th in 2012 to11th last year.

— New development pattern

•One issue in focus is coordinating theexpansion of domestic demandand thedeepening of supply-side structural reform.

•On the demand side, the Chinese leadership urged the formation of a completedomestic demand systemat an early date, with efforts made to expandconsumption demandsupported by income,investment demandwith reasonable returns, andfinancial demandwith principal and debt constraints.

•To create a favorable environment for all types ofbusiness entities, it is also imperative to refine the systems underpinning the market economy, take stronger action against monopolies and unfair competition, and conduct law-based regulation and guidance to promote the healthy development of capital.

— Agricultural modernization

•Over the past 10 years, agricultural mechanization has made great progress, smart agriculture has taken off rapidly, and rural e-commerce has emerged as a new force in China.

•This year's "No. 1 central document" called for enhanced efforts to stabilize production and ensure the supply of grain and important agricultural products, to boost the construction of agricultural infrastructure, tostrengthen support for agricultural science, technology and equipment, to consolidate and expand the achievements of poverty alleviation, and topromote the high-quality development of rural industries.

Why development quality matters to China's modernization:

•Pursuing thesheer speed of growth is unsustainableandtoo costlyfor today's China, which is already the world's second-largest economy. The improved handling of the relationship betweenquantity and quality of developmentwillcreate continuous momentumfor the modernization drive.

•Thefierce global competition on developmenthas created an urgent need to foster new growth drivers and strength, which can only be realized throughprowess in science and technology.

•Self-reliance in key areas, be it advanced technology or grain production, iskey to bringing modernity to over 1.4 billion people in China, and this cannot rely solely on the supply from the international market.

•Reforms to let the market play a decisive role in resource allocationwill unleash to the utmost the vitality of one of the world's biggest markets, whilehigh-standard opening-upwillcreate more development opportunities, both for China and other countries.

•Theimmutable goal of China's modernization driveis tomeet the people's aspirations for a better life. This entails not just increased incomes and enough jobs, but also a narrower wealth gap, a richer cultural life, clean air and clear waters. All this can only be delivered throughan economy of higher quality.