For those not following Chinese politics too closely, the publication of the Party’s Central Committee proposal on the 12th five-year plan (FYP) may seem a non-event.
While they seem to be remants of the communist era (which they are) FYPs have played an important role in setting trajectories for China’s economic development or at least in giving an official annointement to already trodden paths.
A little bit like with official photographies of governments, one can try to infer from the text which topics rise and fall over the years. Take for example technology: in the 12th FYP, the word comes back 26 times. Besides the usual reminder of the importance of science and technology for economic development, technology is used next to low carbon, agriculture, high added value, nano, energy conservation, recycling, environment protection, basic frontier research, generic and… military. Probably a very good proxy for where China stands today in terms of its ambitions!