The following document is the 13th Five-Year Plan—covering the years 2016-2020—of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), a huge state-run complex of laboratories and research institutions. Notably, this Plan names specific breakthroughs for CAS to make in 60 different emerging technologies. The Plan also calls on CAS to improve its S&T-related open-source intelligence collection. CSET has not yet observed a comparable CAS plan covering the years from 2021 on.
The Chinese source text is available online at: http://www.std.cas.cn/zcfg/ynwj/201703/W020170310373457195624.pdf
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/AG75-5W52
U.S. $1 ≈ 7.2 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of October 17, 2022.
Take the Lead Initiative, Leapfrog Development
Outline of the Chinese Academy of Sciences 13th Five-Year Development Plan
( No. 94)
Chinese Academy of Sciences
The “13th Five-Year Plan” period [2016-2020] is a decisive stage for China to comprehensively establish a moderately prosperous society (全面建成小康社会), an important period for the comprehensive completion of the task of building an innovation-oriented country (创新型国家), and a leapfrog development stage for the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to implement the “Take the Lead Initiative”1 in an in-depth manner and basically achieving the “Four Take the Leads”2 goals. The Outline of the Chinese Academy of Sciences 13th Five-Year Development Plan thoroughly implements the spirit of the National Science and Technology Innovation Conference, follows the relevant arrangements of the Outline of the National Innovation-Driven Development Strategy,3 the Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, and the National 13th Five-Year Plan for Scientific and Technological Innovation,4 and is based on the Step 1 strategic goals and key tasks determined in the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Outline for the “Take the Lead Initiative” Plan and for Comprehensively Deepening Reform.
Chapter One: Overall Strategy
I. Development Environment
A new round of scientific and technological (S&T) revolution and industrial transformation is poised to take off, and global S&T innovation is accelerating, becoming the dominant force in reshaping the global structure. When our S&T flourishes, our [Chinese] race (民族) flourishes, and when S&T is strong, our nation is strong. Building China into a world S&T powerhouse5 is the only way to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Currently, the world is undergoing in-depth advancement in multi-polarization, economic globalization, cultural diversification, and social informatization (信息化). The world economy going through a tortuous recovery in the course of in-depth adjustment, and its growth is sluggish. The global governance system is undergoing profound changes, and the competition in comprehensive national strength with innovation as the core is becoming increasingly fierce. Global innovation activities have entered a new intensive period, and the trend of multi-polarization in the pattern of innovation is becoming more and more obvious. The United States, the European Union, Germany, Japan, Russia, and other countries have proposed new innovation strategies one after another to strengthen their S&T innovation layouts, reform and improve their innovation systems, and seize the commanding heights in S&T and industry. New innovative organizational models and scientific research paradigms continue to emerge, and S&T development presents a trend of breakthroughs and cross-convergences at multiple points. Cutting-edge basic research moving toward cross-integration development in the directions of expansion on the macro scale, intensification at the micro scale and extreme conditions, and fundamental scientific questions such as the structure of matter, the evolution of the universe, the origin of life, and the nature of consciousness are giving birth to major breakthroughs. The commanding heights of S&T development are advancing to deep space, deep sea, deep earth, and deep blue (深空、深海、深地、深蓝), environmental protection, health, and intelligence have become the key directions of innovation, and countless disruptive technologies are emerging, prompting major changes in industries and the development of emerging industries.
For the full translation, download the PDF below.
Download Full TranslationOutline of the Chinese Academy of Sciences 13th Five-Year Development Plan
- Translator’s note: The “Take the Lead Initiative” (“率先行动”) is a Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) talent recruitment plan launched in 2014. Under the Initiative, CAS aims to “take the lead in achieving leapfrog development of science and technology, take the lead in constructing a national bastion of innovative talent, take the lead in constructing a high-quality national S&T think tank, and take the lead in building a world-class scientific research institute” (率先实现科学技术跨越发展，率先建成国家创新人才高地，率先建成国家高水平科技智库，率先建设国际一流科研机构) by 2030.
- Translator’s note: Xi Jinping mentioned the “Four Take the Leads” (“四个率先”) during his inspection of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on July 17, 2013. The “Four take the Leads” are objectives for CAS to attain by 2030. They are: “Take the lead in achieving leapfrog development of science and technology, take the lead in constructing a national bastion of innovative talent, take the lead in constructing a high-quality national S&T think tank, and take the lead in building a world-class scientific research institute” (率先实现科学技术跨越发展，率先建成国家创新人才高地，率先建成国家高水平科技智库，率先建设国际一流科研机构).
- Translator’s note: An English translation of the Outline of the National Innovation-Driven Development Strategy is available online at: https://cset.georgetown.edu/publication/outline-of-the-national-innovation-driven-development-strategy/.
- Translator’s note: An English translation of the National 13th Five-Year Plan for Scientific and Technological Innovation is available online at: https://cset.georgetown.edu/publication/state-council-notice-on-the-publication-of-the-national-13th-five-year-plan-for-st-innovation/.
- Translator’s note: This translation renders the Chinese word 强国 qiángguó—which literally means “strong nation”—in English as “powerhouse,” as in the phrase “world S&T powerhouse” (世界科技强国). For a more thorough discussion in English of the Chinese word qiángguó, see: https://www.newamerica.org/cybersecurity-initiative/digichina/blog/lexicon-wangluo-qiangguo/.