The PRC Turns 70: What to Expect from the Anniversary Year?

21/01/2019

PRC turns 70 and what’s next? The American Dream is alive, in China. But some challenges are going to motivate the Dragon to work even harder this year

 

Three weeks have passed since 2019 started and all eyes are now on China. In fact, the upcoming year is going to be significantly important for the Middle Kingdom for many reasons. First and foremost, the 70th anniversary from the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

The Dragon reached extraordinary successes over the last year in many fields, but many significant geopolitical anniversaries, the deepening of the trade war with the US, and the economic slowdown are just some of the challenges the great Asian country is going to deal with before the end of the year.

 

PRC turns 70 - anniversary - tiananmen square - cifnews

© Unsplash. On October 1, Beijing is expected to stage a military parade of “unseen scale” in Tiananmen Square on the 70th anniversary of the PRC.

 

And what’s next? Beijing main goals are to double the GDP and per capita income in urban and rural areas in order to achieve a prosperous society by the Party’s centenary in 2021 and to make China a strong and advanced modern socialist country by the centenary of the founding of the PRC in 2049.

To reach these target, China already intensified its efforts to raise the quality of Chinese people’s lives in order to reduce the wealth gap between the coastal areas and the hinterland.

 

Since Deng Xiaoping’s reforms policy in 1978, the People’s Republic has already succeeded in getting about 800 million people out of poverty making the poverty rate fell from 10.2% to 3.1%.

 

During the speech at the beginning of the year, Chinese President said that in 2018 other 10 million people were raised from the poverty line while the government is working to do the same to other 30 million people by 2020.

For what concerns the hi-tech field, instead, the goal to become an artificial intelligence (AI) superpower scheduled to be reached by 2030 is now closer than expected. Thanks to the Made in China 2025 plan, the Dragon is already very close to rewriting the global geography of hi-tech innovation and 2019 will probably see AI being included in everyday life.

Therefore, the development of the AI sector remains a top priority for technological investment this year as part of the Plan, which guides the country’s industrial modernization encouraging companies to embrace automation.

 

PRC turns 70 - anniversary - robots - AI - cifnews

© South China Morning Post. A report revealed that Chinese spending on robots and related services is expected to increase rapidly by 2022, with an annual growth of 27%.

 

Last year, China already introduced AI directly in people’s lives through the supply chain, through TV news or common leisure activities, but the levels of realism and efficiency reached by the Asian country marveled the whole world.

“Robots are the jewel in the crown for the manufacturing industry, a new frontier for our industrial revolution,” said Xin Guobin, China’s vice minister of industry, as he opened the 2018 World Robot Conference in Beijing.

In 2019, the PRC will thus intensify its efforts to become “self-sufficient” through the Made in China 2025 plan. Beijing not only wants to become a leading power in the hi-tech sector, but it also aims to reduce the dependence on foreign technologies, especially those from the United States.

Although the truce between Beijing and Washington, the Chinese government is still strongly motivated to prevent the US to hinder its progress in the field of artificial intelligence that already affected some country’s technological giants such as Huawei and Zte.

For this reason, the Middle Kingdom wants the current trade negotiations with the United States to be successful before March 1, the day the commercial truce agreed by Trump and Xi will cease.

 

As The New York Times wrote, the former “American Dream” is now turned into a new “Chinese Dream”, where the government engaged in several investments in youth, research and education.

 

Then, although the latest country’s extraordinary development and advancements are still giving many reasons to celebrate, the world’s second largest economy is also going to face a slight economic slowdown this year.

In 2019, in fact, the Dragon’s economic growth is likely to slow to 6.2% from an expected 6.5% this year. Zhongnanhai has already announced a new phase of reforms that favor domestic consumption, the private sector and the opening to foreign companies in order to stimulate growth in the short term.

 

PRC turns 70 - annievrsary - china - globe - cifnews

© Unsplash. In 2019 China will face a slight economic slowdown but it will still be the second world’s largest economy and the world’s biggest manufacturing country.

 

Before the 70th anniversary, the Chinese government will have many occasions to discuss the upcoming challenges and to plan both its foreign and local strategies.

The most important foreign policy event of 2019 will be the second forum of the Belt and Road Initiative, expected at the end of April. The forum will set new goals to reach during the next 12 months in China’s massive project to build a renewed Silk Road that will create a wholly connected global market.

But before that, next Spring will represent the start of so-called China’s “two sessions”, 两会, to be held in early March. The term refers to the annual plenary sessions of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, that will be held respectively on March 3 and on March 5.

It was 70 years ago when the founding of the PRC sent the message that Chinese people have to stand up. Today, the country became the second largest economy in the world and it is looking forward.

 

PRC turns 70 - anniversary - shanghai - cifnews

© Unsplash. Shanghai. Following the Made in China 2025 plan, China has surprised the entire international community becoming a powerful economic leader.

 

Pursuing the Made in China 2025 plan and Beijing’s investments in many sectors, China already became the leading country in fintech, AI, and robotics areas. Moreover, the upcoming year will see many steps being made in strategic sectors such as aerospace and high technology in order to reduce the gap with Western countries.

In addition, local brands will continue to gain in strength and share in 2019. Already 30 of the top 50 fast-moving consumers goods brands are now local as well as six of the top seven mobile companies.

 

The world thought it would change China, but China’s success has been so spectacular that it has changed the world,” wrote Philip P. Pan in The New York Times

 

International enterprises now see real value in these local brands and they aim to partner with local companies more than in the past. As a result, Chinese brand leaders will increase their export volumes in 2019, especially in Southeast Asia.

The world is changing but China is determined to move forward and become the superpower it used to be. Will the 2019’s challenges stop the Dragon to reach the Chinese Dream?

Instead of stopping China’s plans, the challenges seem to motivate Beijing to work even harder. Chinese emerging middle-class society is more open towards foreign culture and optimistic about the country’s future.

As The New York Times wrote, the former “American Dream” is now turned into a new “Chinese Dream”, where the government engaged in several investments in youth, research and education. So, the People’s Republic turns 70, but the best seems yet to come.

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