Reading the Twelfth Five-Year Plan: China’s Communication-Driven Mode of Economic Restructuring

Yu Hong


The Twelfth Five-Year Plan that came out of 2011’s National People’s Congress meeting reveals that the broadly defined communication sector will be central to China’s attempts at transforming its economic developmental model. Recognizing that this five-year plan is an especially important programmatic framework for China’s future development, this article aims to spell out why and how communication will be entangled in China’s push for economic restructuring, as well as the potential constraints over its actual implementation. This article argues that, while the ICT, media, and culture sectors are given high expectations in the document to help expand socially and spatially domestic consumption orientation on the one hand, and to create sunrise, high-tech, and pillar industries on the other hand, it is crucial to remember that entrenched bureaucratic and transnational capitalist interests in and beyond the broadly defined communication sector may obstruct the realization of the plan.

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