China's 18th National Congress Meeting of the Communist Party of China brings China to a critial turning point. It will elect the once-a-decade new leadership and lay out the plan for the next 10 years under the new leadership.
The past ten years have seen China grown into the second larget economy in the world after the U.S.
Its GDP per capita was close to $6,000 by 2011, an increase from $1,500 in 2002. GDP percentage change year on year ranges between 6%+ to 15%, with 2009 the lowest. The export of goods approached $2,000 billion in 2011, compared with $300 billion in 2002. By 2011, China's urban population surpassed its rural population, a result of its progress in industralization.
What are waiting for the China by the end of the next 10 years?
If the past 10 years were a time when China devoted all its resources to grow its GDP, the next 10 years will be more challenging in the sense that the government has to fix some of the problems accumulated from the last 10 years, which are far from easy to deal with, while at the same time to maintain China's economic growth.
The problems that should become the prority of the government include people's resentment for increasing corruption within the government and the lack of mechamism to curb it; potential of China sliding into crony capitalism; domination of SOEs in lucrative industries, leaving SMEs upsupported; lack of freedom in media, which is considered a necessity to push for a more transparent government.
Growing GDP is easier than fixing all those problems and the previous leadership chose the easier path, procastinating to address the mounting issues facing the country.
Chinese people hope that the new leadership under Xi will have the courage to take on the challenges and lift China to the next level, which is not only economically successful but also a better place in many other ways.
Let's hope for the best.