At the end of this week, China’s leaders will have approved their thirteenth five-year economic plan.
For now though in a rather perky sing-along animated video, they suggest “If you wanna know what China’s gonna do, best pay attention to the Shí sān wǔ (十三五).” (Pronounced Shí sān wǔ, the Chinese characters refer to the numbers you see in the video, 13 for the plan number and 5 for its duration,)
Our Bottom Line: A Top Down Development Plan
Thinking of the three basic economic systems–tradition, command and the market–you can see at the end of the video how command still characterizes the Chinese economy:
“When the plan comes out the work’s not done,
In fact it’s really just begun,
Because every province county, city too,
Have got to figure out what they’re gonna do,
As the plan goes from high to low,
The government’s experience continues to grow,
They had to work hard and deliberate,
Because a billion lives are all at stake…”
Very much “top down,” their 2016-2020 development plan contrasts with the bottom up dynamic of the market.