This aerial photo taken on Dec. 10, 2022 shows a view of the Yangpu international container terminal in the Yangpu Economic Development Zone, south China's Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Pu Xiaoxu)
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 to achieve greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology is the path we must take to promote high-quality development.
•Accelerating the creation of a new development pattern is the strategic foundation for promoting high-quality growth.
•Strong agriculture is the foundation of a strong modern socialist country, and promoting agricultural modernization is a prerequisite for achieving high-quality development.
•Promoting high-quality development is for the wellbeing of the people.
About high-quality development:
High-quality development was first raised by the CPC leadership in 2017.
China's economy has been transitioning 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.
The priorities of high-quality development, as he set forth during the deliberation, include achieving greater self-reliance in science and technology, creating a new development pattern, and promoting agricultural modernization.
— Science and technology
•Sci-tech innovation has played a decisive role in promoting China's high-quality development and modernization drive.
•In 2022, China's total expenditure on research and development (R&D) amounted to 3.1 trillion yuan (450 billion dollars), up 10.4 percent year-on-year, maintaining a double-digit growth for seven consecutive years.
•China saw its ranking in the Global Innovation Index jump from 34th in 2012 to 11th last year.
— New development pattern
•One issue in focus is coordinating the expansion of domestic demand and the deepening of supply-side structural reform.
•On the demand side, the Chinese leadership urged the formation of a complete domestic demand system at an early date, with efforts made to expand consumption demand supported by income, investment demand with reasonable returns, and financial demand with principal and debt constraints.
•To create a favorable environment for all types of business 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, to strengthen support for agricultural science, technology and equipment, to consolidate and expand the achievements of poverty alleviation, and to promote the high-quality development of rural industries.
Why development quality matters to China's modernization:
•Pursuing the sheer speed of growth is unsustainable and too costly for today's China, which is already the world's second-largest economy. The improved handling of the relationship between quantity and quality of development will create continuous momentum for the modernization drive.
•The fierce global competition on development has created an urgent need to foster new growth drivers and strength, which can only be realized through prowess in science and technology.
•Self-reliance in key areas, be it advanced technology or grain production, is key 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 allocation will unleash to the utmost the vitality of one of the world's biggest markets, while high-standard opening up will create more development opportunities, both for China and other countries.
•The immutable goal of China's modernization drive is to meet 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 through an economy of higher quality.
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