Hu Jintao

Think tank head says five-year plan is 'mission impossible'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 April, 2011, 12:00am


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China's next five-year plan for national development has been described as a 'mission impossible' by a top adviser to Beijing and Hong Kong, who also said he had a hard time understanding President Hu Jintao's guiding ideology.

Influential think tank head Shiu Sin-por said basing economic development on domestic consumption, a central theme of the 12th five-year plan for 2011-15, was not sustainable.

'The 12th five-year plan is a mission impossible ... it is a huge task,' the Central Policy Unit adviser said yesterday. Shiu, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and executive director of the One Country Two Systems Research Institute, said he also struggled to understand Hu's concept of scientific development.

Scientific development, which calls for a recognition of the balance between man and natural science, became the nation's official guiding principle in 2007. Hu saw it as one of his political legacies.

Shiu said direct subsidies to stimulate domestic consumption would fail. 'Consume, consume and consume ... brings failure. Subsidising people to buy appliances is not sustainable for economic growth. Once you take away the subsidies, domestic consumption would decrease,' he said. 'People have to save money, unless we can solve all those social problems, including housing and education. But it is difficult to solve all those problems in the next five years.'

He favoured export expansion. 'We have to go out and expand exports. We would not succeed by earning HK$0.2 on each iPad.' The mainland makes components for Apple's products.