Today I am happy to announce that my latest book about China, which I’ve called The Man,the Plan, the Dream: How Xi Jinping and China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development will Rejuvenate the Nation and Reshape our World is now available in Amazon.

As the sub-title of the book I hope makes clear, there are three main themes of the book: Xi Jinping and his policies and reforms including the Chinese Dream and the Great Rejuvenation, and, in particular, the 13th Five-Year Plan.

For the last decade or so, since before I wrote my first book about China in 2007, I have been interested in and impressed by China’s five-year Plans. I first learned about them when I studied China’s economy during my undergraduate degree in the early 1990s, during a lesson in China’s central planning from one of my professors at the Pacific and Asian Studies Department of the University of Victoria. Then, just after the downfall of the Soviet Union, the concept of socialist-style central planning was discredited and only highlighted the disconnect between government and other sectors of the economy so I didn’t give them much more thought at the time.

However after moving to China in 2003, I started hearing about the plans again. At first, I was still skeptical,but the more I read about the 10th Five Year Plan (and then the 11th FYP), the more I found that what China’s government was writing was actually happening, making these plans an increasingly valuable forecasting tool.

Fast forward to 2016, on the launch of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016 – 2020), something seemed different:
A short video introducing the 13th Five Year Plan

This video was produced on behalf of the central government for the purpose of reaching a new audience abroad, but it was like nothing they had ever done before. They video generated interest in the form of media articles, and much more people around the world learned about the plan as a result, but the somewhat kooky animation as a music video still confused a lot of people.

When I first read the actual 13th FYP document itself I realized that the form of the plan hadn’t changed much from the 12th, 11th, 10th and earlier plans: it was just longer. It is written in a kind of repetitive, declarative style (“We will do this, we improve that…”) and full of projects and words that were not explained or difficult to understand. Here is the original Chinese version and the English edition on the central government’s website if you want to take a look. Coincidentally, the English translation was done by the Central Compilation & Translation Press, the same company that published my book 中国超级经济 in 2013.

That was the inspiration for me to start writing this work, for the readers who I imagined were like me, wanting to know more about the context of the Chinese economic terms used and background of the projects listed, and how well the plan was doing as it went. To this I added a lot of information on the Xi Jinping government, Xi’s concept of the Chinese Dream and the Great Rejuvenation, the reforms China was undergoing and its recent economic statistics.

This is to be the first book in what I am calling the China 4.0 series, exploring the many economic, social, environmental and technological changes going on in China from now until 2025 and beyond.

Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me via the information in my Profile if you have any comments or questions!

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