China's new five-year plan synergizes with Africa's development strategy

By He Wenping
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail ChinAfrica, April 19, 2016
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Chinese lawmakers approved the country's economic and social development blueprint for the 2016-20 period at the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in March. He Wenping, a senior researcher at the Charhar Institute and senior research fellow of the Institute of West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes that China's new five-year plan synergizes with Africa's development strategy.

China will maintain an annual economic growth of above 6.5 percent during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), realize the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and double its GDP and per-capita income from what they were in 2010.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said this while delivering the Government Work Report during the opening of the Fourth Session of the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing on March 5.

To ensure a good start to the 13th Five-Year Plan, Li proposed eight major tasks this year.

They include stepping up efforts to implement the Belt and Road Initiative, expanding international industrial cooperation, and supporting the export of Chinese equipment, technology, standards and services.

Opening up, innovation, as well as coordinated, green and shared development are to be highlighted in the new period. Supply-side structural reform and strategies to promote agriculture modernization and the Internet economy will give new vitality and bring new opportunities to China-Africa cooperation.

Allied to African development

China has made the Belt and Road Initiative part of its latest five-year plan to create a new opening-up pattern toward both the East and the West.

As a plan for international economic cooperation and mutual development, the Belt and Road Initiative aims at consolidating economic development in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will connect the three by sea and then integrate with the Silk Road Economic Belt, which is an upgraded version of the ancient overland trade route connecting the three regions.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of the Congo in 2013, several cooperation deals were signed. During his Africa visit in 2014, Li made commitments to help Africa build railway, expressway and airline networks.

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