The communique for the Fifth Plenum is out, there were no big surprises. There is a lot of focus on self-reliance, especially in technology, as well as security and military modernization, and of course opening and dual circulation. The US is not mentioned but risks and opportunities from the New Era of US-China relations are clear in the text. And by “New Era” I mean a belief that US-China relations are accelerating towards increasingly difficult competition if not outright conflict, no matter who wins the US election next week.
It is an aspirational document which is full of confidence while clear about the risks and challenges. The Plenum communique says that China is still in a period of important strategic opportunity, as the world is “undergoing changes unseen in a century”.
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