（Written by Dulyapaween Kronsaeng / Translated by Chen Zhiying）Not long ago, China deliberated and passed the 14th Five-Year Plan. In the exclusive interview with the reporter from Thailand-ASEAN Panorama, Dr. Aksornsri Phanishsarn, Expert on China’s Economy and Associate Professor of Faculty of Economics of Thammasat University said that the 14th Five-Year Plan sets clear goals and directions for China’s economic development. She believes that the Plan is also a move to stabilize the economy. Instead of fast economic growth, China pursues stable development, especially economic stability boosted by technical safety, food safety and public health safety.
Support new development pattern with science and technology
Dr. Aksornsri Phanishsarn said that China’s economic policy formulation should be “stable”, as the impact of the COVID-19, trade friction between China and the US, and other external risks may affect China’s long-term development in the future. To this end, China will rely more on domestic demand and less on external sources, especially about core technologies.
“Relying on foreign technology has always been a weakness of China’s science and technology industry and it was often accompanied by risks, especially in core technologies like semiconductor. Drawing lessons from this, China is determined to focus more on the R&D of basic technology. Through formulating China Standards 2035, China has put forward the goal of becoming a global technology power by 2035,” said Dr. Aksornsri Phanishsarn.
In technical safety, it is clear in the 14th Five-Year Plan that in addition to a 7% increase in the annual expenditure of R&D, China aims at seven leading-edge areas to achieve high-level scientific and technological self-reliance, including the new generation of artificial intelligence, quantum information, brain science and brain-like intelligent technology, integrated circuit, gene and biotechnology, clinical medicine and health, deep space, deep earth, deep sea and polar exploration.
“China will strengthen the basic frontier and high-tech research following national strategies and enhance the national scientific and technological strength. Once successful, it will become the new global science and technology power, leading the development trend,” said Dr. Aksornsri Phanishsarn.
China ushers in the era of economic dual circulation development
The outbreak of the COVID-19 has drawn people’s attention to food and health safety. A series of policies and measures to support agricultural production have been launched in China, including enlarging the area of grain cultivation. Although the cost of producing some agricultural products is higher than that of imports, China still chooses to support the 1.4 billion people on its own, making its “rice bowl” more “solid”. Ensuring domestic food security is of great importance. No matter what happens, China will withstand any pressure from the international environment and concentrate on speeding up the construction of the dual circulation development pattern, with domestic and international development reinforcing each other.
“Uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 and pressure from abroad have forced China to stabilize its domestic economic development, for example, being independent in science and technology, pursuing stronger domestic economic development, increasing national income, cultivating a new generation of middle class, and boosting domestic consumption. However, it does not mean that China has closed its door to the outside world. On the contrary, China will open its door even wider, turning to the largest importer from the largest exporter. China has a large consumer base. Through expanding domestic demand to promote economic development, its attraction to foreign countries will be even greater. Therefore, the prosperity of the world is inseparable from China. Take Thailand as an example, its tourism revenue is highly dependent on China, with 10 million of Chinese tourists coming every year.”
To sum up, Dr. Aksornsri Phanishsarn believes that to better conform to the development trend and seize the opportunities from China, Thailand needs to adjust itself, dispersing risks, and achieve balanced economic development.
She pointed out that China’s leapfrog economic development undoubtedly brings pressure to competitors and manufacturers such as Thailand. Instead of worrying, Thailand should turn the pressure into a driving force, so as to better adjust itself and seek opportunities from China’s new economic development pattern. For example, if Thailand wishes to transform its quantity-oriented tourism industry into quality-oriented, the high-end tourists who lay stress on health tourism should not be ignored. The senior tourism is also a potential market worth exploring.
“In addition, Thailand has unlimited space for cooperation with China in clean energy. It not only coincides with Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model or BCG, but also is highly valued by China. If China and Thailand continue to maintain good relations, Thailand can seek more cooperation with China in various potential areas, achieving mutual benefit and win-win results,” said Dr. Aksornsri Phanishsarn.
Source: Thailand-ASEAN Panorama