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Bloomberg New Economy: Self-Reliance Is China’s Endgame

A news report on Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech in the city of Shenzhen is shown on television screens inside a store in Hong Kong on Oct. 14.

A news report on Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech in the city of Shenzhen is shown on television screens inside a store in Hong Kong on Oct. 14.

Photographer: Roy Liu/Bloomberg

Faced with an increasingly hostile world, China is looking inward. At the heart of its latest Five-Year Plan, a blueprint for economic development unveiled on Oct. 29, is a Mao-era slogan that arguably represents the posture of a government feeling threatened by what it calls “hostile foreign forces” while also defiant—zili gengsheng, or “self-reliance.”

For example, instead of depending on imported technology, China will go all-out to produce its own while looking to domestic consumption to drive growth. “Tech­nol­ogy self-re­liance is the strate­gic sup­port for na­tional de­vel­op­ment,” said a com­mu­niqué at the end of a four-day conclave of top Communist Party leaders led by President Xi Jinping.