China’s 14th Five Year Plan heralds the country’s pursuit of new avenues for growth. Articulated around concerns of economic development, technology, business reforms and green production, the strategy extends until 2025 and will accompany China throughout its recovery from the pandemic crisis, shifting the spotlight to the country’s sustainable yet rapid growth and global leadership potential. With emphasis placed on a new ‘dual circulation’ model, President Xi has noted that, in the new plan, ‘twin domestic and international circulations would mutually reinforce each other, but with the larger domestic circulation as the principal focus’ – different phrasing, but a concept not entirely dissimilar from Europe’s own pursuit of strategic autonomy. But what impact will this have on trade and geopolitical relations, with both Europe and other international actors? Increased domestic consumption in China will inevitably bring about increases in international trade flows, but with the pandemic having shown the global interdependency of supply chains, could ‘dual circulation’ be a first step on the road to decoupling?
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- Will 2021 see production in China shift to be more high-end and specialised, and what will this mean for both China’s growth and quality of life?
- How will a greater emphasis on the internal market be reconciled with China’s global leadership ambitions?
- What can Europe learn from an economic model prioritising greater domestic circulation?
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