Kelvin Chinyani
During the just-ended 20th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) President Xi jinping — also the General Secretary — demonstrated that nothing can be a substitute for strategic planning at party and national levels.

The continued successes of the ruling party and Government of China over the years have shown the significance of strategic planning and following a clear path of development and ideological direction. As of now, China, having achieved so much under the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, is set to achieve even more by 2049 as a prosperous modern socialist country.

This is not accidental.

President Xi has said: “We have developed well-conceived and complete strategic plans for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era.

“We have put forward the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and proposed promoting national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernisation. We have made well-coordinated efforts to advance our great struggle, our great project, our great cause, and our great dream.

“We have adopted the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy 1 as well as the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, and we have worked to both pursue development and safeguard security.”

Further, the CPC has identified what it has termed the “principal contradiction” facing Chinese society as that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, and made it clear that closing this gap should be the focus of all national initiatives.

“With these efforts,” President Xi said at the Congress, “we have made constant progress in enriching and developing a new form of human advancement.”

The strong philosophical and scientific underpinning of this approach shows that China — with President Xi at its leadership core — is neither groping in the dark for solutions to its problems nor sleepwalking into the future.

Everything is under control

On the main, the framework of a new development philosophy and practical measures such as supply-side structural reform and major regional strategies have anchored China’s overall development, and brought about a historic rise in China’s economic strength.

Remarkable achievements

Poverty alleviation

A number of strides have been made which have made China realise its dreams and become an example for many developing countries. One of these key areas is poverty alleviation.

A total of 832 impoverished counties and close to 100 million poor rural residents have been lifted out of poverty, and, among them, more than 9.6 million poverty-stricken people have been relocated from inhospitable areas.

China has, once and for all, resolved the problem of absolute poverty in China, making significant contributions to the cause of global poverty reduction. This “moderate prosperity” — as China puts it — advances humanity, not just the people of China. As a vast, developing world, China has won the largest battle against poverty in human history, President Xi says.

Wealth creation

In the past decade, China’s GDP has grown from 54 trillion yuan to 114 trillion yuan to account for 18.5 percent of the world economy, up 7.2 percentage points. China has remained the world’s second largest economy, and its per capita GDP has risen from 39,800 yuan to 81,000 yuan. China’s manufacturing sector is the largest in the world, as are its foreign exchange reserves.


China has built the world’s largest networks of high-speed railways and express ways and made major achievements in building airports, ports, and water conservancy, energy, information, and other infrastructure.

Science and Technology

China has accelerated efforts to build its self-reliance and strength in science and technology, with nationwide research and development (R&D) spending rising from 1 trillion yuan to 2.8 trillion yuan, the second highest in the world. China country is now home to the largest cohort of R&D personnel in the world.

Lessons in planning

Countries such as Zimbabwe and much of the developing world are grappling with challenges that China have now successfully overcome.

It is crucial that China has put strategic planning at the centre of executing its ambitions. Similarly, in Zimbabwe there has been a host of policies, plans and programmes to uplift the economy and transform the country. Currently Zimbabwe is rolling out the National Development Strategy 1, which is a blueprint for the next five years. Zimbabwe aims to attain Vision 2030, that is, to achieve middle-income country status by 2030.

A tenacious pursuit of this goal, underpinned by the right mindset/philosophy as well as scientific approach can help Zimbabwe achieve its goals.

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