Chinese President Xi Jinping said the economy can double in size by 2035 and the country can reach high-income status in the next five years as the Communist Party outlined ambitious plans for the nation's future.
"It is entirely possible to reach the high-income country status by current standards by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan, and to double the total economic output or per capita income by 2035," Xi said in a speech to the party's Central Committee, according to state media Xinhua.
Based on a rough estimate, doubling economic output by 2035 would mean an annual growth rate of nearly 4.7%, said Hong Hao, chief strategist for Bocom International in Hong Kong. "This is ambitious, as the Chinese economy is already of significant size."
This new target is similar to the current goal to double the country's gross domestic product and income from 2010's levels by 2020, as well as building a 'moderately prosperous society' by the end of this year. China will formally announce victory on that target after conducting a systematic assessment in the first half of next year, Xi said, according to Xinhua.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg see the economy expanding by a mere 2.1% this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, accelerating to 8.0% in 2021. The statement didn't specify on which year the target of doubling the size of the economy would be based.
The Central Committee released a broad framework of its five-year economic plan last week, focusing on self-reliance in technology, boosting domestic consumption and pursuing quality growth over speed.
"Further steps are needed to encourage innovation, expand domestic demand and enhance economic efficiency." Xi cited instability and uncertainty in the global environment in coming years, with many risks that could affect the domestic economy, according to Xinhua. The Covid-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects and the world economy may continue to suffer, the state media agency cited him as saying.