Facing ongoing pollution challenges and a push to diversify energy sources, China’s energy planners kicked off 2017 by announcing an array of 13th Five-Year Plans (13FYPs). Offering quantifiable short-term goals for limiting reliance on coal in favor of oil and gas, these plans collectively focus on emissions cuts, renewable energy development, and improved energy industry efficiency, while encouraging technology solutions such as data centers.
The Chinese healthcare sector, which accounted for 6 percent of the country’s GDP in 2016, is expected to capture a 10 percent share in the coming years. Racing to establish a modern system of coverage, services, and products to accommodate the world’s largest population and fastest growing economy, China faces a number of development challenges. As China increasingly makes use of foreign products, services, and expertise to accomplish its reform goals, foreign companies are in a position to advance China’s reform goals in the healthcare sector, if allowed market access.
China’s energy planners seek to increase production, distribution, and consumption of renewable energy as a means to diversify energy supply. However, as China attempts to transition from coal to other energy sources, it struggles to utilize existing renewable capacity. This inefficiency, caused by overcapacity and grid limitations, has hindered the country’s ability to achieve renewable sector development goals.
Seeking to rebuild trust between people and the government, Beijing has revealed plans for a “social credit system” that rates citizens based on their social and financial standing—effectively turning big data into big brother.
Growing public dissatisfaction toward rampant pollution in China is putting pressure on Beijing to craft a national development agenda that more comprehensively takes into account environmental considerations.
Climate change and clean energy issues continue to be a noticeably encouraging point of bilateral cooperation between the US and China.
Facing surmounting challenges, China seeks to revise its environmental trajectory, determined to smoothly and successfully transition from an overdependence on fossil fuels—particularly coal—to an embrace of clean energy.
To best understand the reasons behind China’s wild ride in the stock market during the initial stages of 2016, it is important to recognize that this instability is a significant reflection of a broader structural trend with regard to the country’s economic future.
China’s substantial and ever-growing financial investment in the developing world has garnered new allies, strengthened trade relations, and increased access to oil and other natural resources among these resource-rich countries. This trend is positioning China for enormous influence over future international policy and trade.