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Let the New Vision of Development Yield Positive Results in the New Era

Submit Time:08-01-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Zhang Xiaojing | Source:People’s Daily (December 13, 2017)


The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasizes that we should adopt a new vision for development, which is a major innovation in development theory based on the practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics epitomizing our Party’s deepened understanding of the laws governing economic and social development. Domestically, China’s economy is a pivotal stage for transforming our growth model, improving our economic structure, and fostering new drivers of growth. The new vision of development provides scientific guidance for developing a modernized economy and getting through this critical transition smoothly. Internationally, the haze of international financial crisis has not disappeared, the undercurrent of de-globalization is developing, unbalanced development is more serious, and various countries face a series of common challenges to development. The new vision of development offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solve common challenges and promote healthy development of the world economy. Viewed from the perspective of the history of economic thoughts, the new vision of development develops what is useful and discards what is not in the understanding of development according to development economics in the past 70 years and modern economics in the past 200 to 300 years, and enriches and develops socialist political economics with Chinese characteristics. 

Now socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. We should deepen our understanding and try to let the new vision of development yield positive results in the new era. 

Innovative development should focus on soft innovation in the fields of theories, systems and cultures. Innovation is the primary force driving development; it is the strategic underpinning for building a modernized economy. However, we should not understand innovation only as technological innovation. Innovation includes not only technological innovation, but also theoretical, institutional and cultural innovation. Undoubtedly, technological innovation directly drives economic growth, but without theoretical, institutional and cultural innovation, breakthroughs in technological innovation can hardly be made. Therefore, promotion of innovative development requires emancipation of minds. We should attach importance to not only technological innovation, but also theoretical innovation, institutional innovation and cultural innovation including creative evolution and development of fine traditional culture. 

Coordinated development should eliminate the root causes of various distortions and imbalances. Catch-up development is often a kind of unbalanced development, inevitably giving rise to imbalances and incoordination. To promote coordinated development, we need to eliminate the root causes of various distortions and imbalances. Coordinated industrial development, coordinated development of urban and rural areas, etc. can be realized gradually through bettering market price signals and incentive mechanisms, but some problems of uncoordinated development cannot be solved by the market effectively, e.g. narrowing the gaps in incomes and promoting coordinated development of hard power and soft power, the economy and society, national defense and economic growth, etc. This requires the government to play a better role. Generally, the root cause of incoordination is often not insufficient government intervention but inadequate or excessive government intervention. To eliminate the root causes of various distortions and imbalances, we must ensure the market plays the decisive role in allocating resources. The government should act adequately instead of excessively or insufficiently. 

Green development combines development of productive forces and environmental protection. All countries in the world face the difficult problem of how to realize harmonious coexistence between man and nature in development. The idea of green development points out the direction for solving this difficult problem. It reveals: environment bears on people’s wellbeing, green mountains are beautiful, blue skies give people happiness, and lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets; healthy natural ecology and harmony between man and nature are fundamental guarantees for man’s sustainable development, protection of environment is protection of productive forces, and improvement of environment is development of productive forces. The most active element in productive forces is man. Bad ecological environment seriously affects human health and greatly damages human capital; beautiful ecological environment is conducive to people’s physical and mental health and can greatly promote accumulation of human capital. From this perspective, we can better understand the profound philosophical truth that protection of environment is protection of productive forces while improvement of environment is development of productive forces. 

Open development underlines the importance of open systems and open competition. Generally speaking, open systems are safer than closed systems. According to the “law of entropy”, open systems lead to order and bring about new vitality, while closed systems lead to disorder and tend to harden and even perish. Open development underlines better use of both international and domestic markets and resources, a greater say in the institutions for global economic governance and promotion of healthy development of economic globalization. Open development inevitably faces open competition, including not only economic competition among countries, but also institutional competition. Open competition is an important driving force behind promotion of institutional change and maintenance of institutional vitality. 

Shared development reflects a people-centered notion of development. The essence of shared development is to stick to a people-centered notion of development, and it reflects the requirement of gradually realizing common prosperity. In light of international experience, the main reasons why some countries have fallen into “the middle income trap” are closely associated with widening income gaps, more serious social unfairness and failure to promote shared development. Therefore, shared development is not only the original purpose of development, but also an important guarantee for realizing sustainable development. Sharing is not simply sharing of results. Instead, it has rich connotation such as sharing by all, full sharing, sharing by contributors and progressive sharing, requiring us to make more effective institutional arrangements to enable all the people to have a greater sense of benefit as they contribute to development and share its fruits and move steadily toward common prosperity. 

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