China’s New Five-Year Plan Embraces the Third Industrial Revolution

evan spiegel

BEIJING — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has not only read Jeremy Rifkin’s book “The Third Industrial Revolution” and taken it to heart. He and his colleagues have also made it the core of the country’s 13th five-year plan announced in Beijing on Oct. 29.

“The future development of China,” Premier Li told us at the outset of the “Understanding China” dialogues organized by the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council, “is about economic transformation and upgrading — about expanding domestic consumption and advancing the new type of industrialization through the application of Internet technologies, urbanization and agricultural modernization. And it is about pursuing green growth. This will bring new opportunities to the balanced development of other economies and the world’s sustainable development.” The aim, in the words of the Chinese premier, is to move from “quantity” of growth to “quality.”

The aim, in the words of the Chinese premier, is to move from ‘quantity’ of growth to ‘quality.’

Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, the Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of the economy, laid out for us the comprehensive dimensions of the plan that will guide China’s development over the next half decade. The new buzzwords in his presentation could have been pulled right out of the series of essays by Rifkin — and responses by global political and thought leaders — that we have been publishing in recent weeks in The WorldPost. Zhang envisions linking up China’s manufacturing and infrastructure through the resource and logistical efficiency enabled by the “Internet of Things” — what the Chinese call “Internet Plus.” He spoke of “circular” use of resources in which waste is recycled and about “weakening the urban concentration of Beijing” by integrating development through decentralized, —> Read More