SHANGHAI -- China said a complete decoupling with the U.S. is "unrealistic" because of the corresponding nature of their economic structures, despite Beijing now relying less on foreign trade for growth.
The Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee on Friday briefed reporters on the guiding principles of the country's next five-year plan for economic and social development -- the first of three blueprints for achieving a modern socialist state by 2035.
"Under the global village concept, China and the U.S. economic ties are determined by the complementary nature of their economic structures within an open market," said Han Wenxiu, a party official in charge of financial and economic affairs. "A complete decoupling is not a reality, nor is it beneficial to either or the world."
This goes against U.S. President Donald Trump's urging of American companies to move away from China because of what he says are unfair trade practices.
Han said China's trade volume with the U.S. grew 16% year-on-year in the third quarter despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. "In fact, those who truly want a 'decoupling' only represents a minor minority," he said. "And those who pursue cooperation are the overwhelming majority."
Under a long-term strategy, China is set to implement a "dual circulation" policy focused on domestic demand to drive growth with the help of foreign investment.
This focus is "possible" because of the size of its economy, Han said, adding that the implementation was a proactive rather than passive move amid growing protectionism and uncertainties brought on by the pandemic.
The central committee, China's top policy-setting body, said the proportion of foreign trade to gross domestic product has declined from 60% in the past to 30% now, reflecting the dynamic of domestic demand.
In the communique released by the committee on Thursday, China said the country's average per capita disposable income grew 6.5% a year from 2016 to 2019, and the number of middle-income Chinese jumped to over 400 million in 2019, up from more than 100 million in 2010.
China is expected to focus more on its domestic market to drive growth by prioritizing innovation in economic development. Beijing will encourage new consumption models based on environmentally friendly, healthy and safe concepts, said Ning Jizhe, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.
The emphasis will be on purchases of consumer goods such as automobiles, contactless transaction services, and the integration of online and offline consumption through communications technology, he said.