President Xi Jinping opened a meeting in Beijing this week to map out the next phase of economic development, just days before one of the most contentious US elections in history will produce a president resistant to China’s ascent no matter who wins.
The country’s 14th five-year plan is expected to center around technological innovation, economic self reliance and a cleaner environment. Communist Party officials will also set goals for the next 15 years as Xi seeks to deliver on his vow for national rejuvenation by gaining the global lead in technology and other strategic industries. The meeting is closed to the press, and key decisions likely won’t be made clear before it wraps up on Thursday.
If China’s economy — which is already recovering swiftly from the coronavirus shock — can stick to the growth trajectory of recent years, it’ll surpass the US within the next decade. The prospect of ever deeper frictions with the US underpins Xi’s strategy to accelerate plans to shield China from swings in the world economy. Xi and other officials have recently insisted the economy will further open its doors to foreign capital and competition, reflecting concerns about how the world will perceive the upcoming plans.