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Time for change, China cannot rely on old model of development: Xi Jinping

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Beijing, Oct 31: President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that China can no longer rely on its previous economic development model of depending on global exports and must build self-controlled, safe and reliable domestic production and supply system to ensure industrial and national security.

The just-concluded plenary session of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), headed by Xi, adopted his proposals to make the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025).

President Xi Jinping

While the 14th five-year plan envisages a massive overhaul of the country's domestic market to boost consumption in order to reduce China's reliance on shrinking exports markets, the Vision 2035 visualises a long-term plan, reflecting the development vision of Xi. Politically, Xi's Vision 2035 plan has sparked speculation that he could continue in power for the next 15 years.

Xi, 67, has emerged as the CPC's most powerful leader after its founder Mao Zedong, holding the posts of CPC General Secretary, head of the military besides the presidency with prospects of a life-long tenure.

A constitutional amendment in 2018 removed the two-five-year term limit for the president, which would enable Xi to continue in power for life. His second term as the president is due to end in 2022.

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"We shouldn't and couldn't simply repeat the previous model, but should strive to shape new industrial chain to enhance technological innovation and import substitution, which is the focus of deepening supply-side structural reforms and the key to achieving high-quality development," Xi was quoted as saying in an article published in Qiushi's, CPC's official journal.

Xi said that "in order to ensure China's industrial security and national security, we must build self-controlled, safe and reliable domestic production and supply chain".

"We should strive to have at least one alternative source for important products and supply channels to form a necessary industrial backup system," Xi said.

China's complete industrial chain has played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic by guaranteeing the availability of important materials for epidemic prevention and control. However, the public health crisis has also exposed risks in the domestic supply chain and industrial chain, Xi said.

China's status as the world's factory has been affected by declining global markets and US President Donald Trump's trade war.

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