Who writes China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP)?

“If you want to know what China’s gonna do, best pay attention to the shi san wu [13-5].”

Why the Five-Year Plan (FYP)?

Although the three-minute long video, which attempts to promote China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, has received mostly negative feedbacks on its, inter alia, “Utterly Inane” (Time), the video does have successfully delivered the key message: i.e. the importance of the 13th Five-Year Plan for China and to understand China.

The timing of the upcoming 13th FYP is significant: in addition to being the first five-year plan under the Xi administration, it also aligns with the timeline for the key national reforms introduced during the third plenum last November, which are set to be completed by 2020. The 13th FYP will play a key role in laying down the policy framework to push forward the Xi administration’s goals and the some 300 reforms introduced during the plenum. Additionally, the plan marks a decisive period in meeting some of China’s other long-term national goals aimed at transitioning to a more developed economy, such as doubling per-capita GDP by 2020 from 2000 levels, according to the US-China Business Council.

As the State news agency (CCTV) suggests:

“The 13th five-year plan will be an important document that guides the country’s economic and social development. …  It will have a significant impact on China and the rest of the world…”

Who writes the FYP?

While it worth to assess the “General Guidelines” based on vaguely worded communique before its full roll-outs in next March, it might be more interesting to acquaint ourselves with those who write the plan.

Led by the former Director of The Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs (Chinese: 中共中央财经领导小组) and the former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, a National Experts Committee has been dedicated to develop the report.

Fortunately, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has published, on its website, the full member list of the National Experts Committee, which comprises of 55 members from the government, think-tanks and enterprises.

Unfortunately or not, from a lawyer’s perspective, the Committee has only one legal scholar: Professor MA Huaide 马怀德, an expertise on the administrative law.

Contrastingly, 18 are expertise on economics; 10 are expertise on natural science and engineering; another 4 are entrepreneurs.

For further analysis on the composition of the Committee, the Finance & Economics State News(财经国家新闻网) has an excellent report.

See also The Six Questions for the Five-Year Plan, as published by the people.cn (人民网). The Questions sketchily address following 6 topics:

  1. Why the FYP is important?
  2. How the FYP is developed?
  3. What the FYP is focused on?
  4. What is the targeted/expected GDP?
  5. How to develop regional economies?
  6. How to enhance strategic invention?


Appendix: Highlights of 13th  FYP

Highlights of proposals for China's 13th Five-Year Plan

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