Second, we need to fully apply the new development philosophy.
For our Party, one very important part of leading the people in governing the country is answering the major questions of what kind of development China should pursue and how it should pursue it. On October 29, 2015, at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, I stated, "Principles are precursors to actions. All actions in development are guided by principles of development, and it is these principles that ultimately determine the effectiveness of development and its success or failure. Experience tells us that development is a process of constant change, and that the environments and conditions in which development takes place are both subject to change. Therefore, it is only natural that principles of development should also be subject to change."
Since the 18th National Congress in 2012, our Party has, based on the careful assessment of the economic situation, made timely adjustments to our development principles and approach, which have given rise to historic achievements and shifts in the economic development of our country. Here, I would like to mention the most significant of these developments.
First, we have committed to a people-centered philosophy of development. In my address to the domestic and foreign press during the debut of the Standing Committee of 18th Central Committee Political Bureau on November 15, 2012, I stressed that "The people yearn for a better life, our goal is to help them achieve it, and we must unswervingly follow the path of common prosperity." At the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on October 29, 2015, I put forward the vision of people-centered development. At the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee on October 29, 2020, I further underscored the need to strive for substantive progress in promoting common prosperity for all our people.
Second, we have changed the thinking that the GDP growth rate is the sole barometer of success. At the Central Economic Work Conference on December 15, 2012, I stressed that we cannot blindly pursue rapid growth without regard for objective laws and conditions. At a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee Political Bureau on April 25, 2013, I stressed that local governments should not take national regulatory targets as the baseline for local economic development, nor should they compete with each other to have higher growth rates. I said that we needed to shift the focus to improving the quality and returns of economic growth, to promoting sustained and healthy economic development, and to pursuing genuine rather than inflated GDP growth and achieving high-quality, efficient, and sustainable development.
Third, China's economy entered a period defined by three overlapping phases. At a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee Political Bureau on July 25, 2013, I noted that our economy was now in a slowing growth phase, a painful structural adjustment phase, and a phase of absorbing the adverse effects of previous stimulus policies. I emphasized that, at the same time, the world economy was also in a period of profound adjustment, which made for an extremely complex economic development environment. This required us to gain a proper understanding of the characteristics of the current stage of Chinese economic development and to undertake practical reforms and adjustments.
Fourth, China's economic development entered a new normal. I put forward this proposition at the Central Economic Work Conference on December 10, 2013. At the Central Economic Work Conference on December 9 of the following year, I analyzed new development trends in nine respects to explain why economic development had entered a new normal. I emphasized that understanding the new normal, adapting to it, and guiding its development constituted the major theme of China's economic development both at present and in the period ahead.
Fifth, we have enabled the market to play the decisive role in resource allocation and given better play to the role of the government. I stated at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in November 2013 that the market is the most efficient means of allocating resources. A general law of market economies is that the market should determine the allocation of resources. I thus highlighted the need to let the market play the decisive role in resource allocation, thereby redefining the role of the market.
Sixth, we have committed to the idea that lucid waters and lush mountains are as precious as mountains of silver and gold. I put forward this concept during a speech at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan on September 7, 2013. I emphasized that developing an ecological civilization and building a beautiful China constitute a strategic task, because we need to make sure we leave behind a beautiful homeland with blue skies, green fields, and clean waters for our future generations. I reiterated this point during a talk with the Guizhou delegation at the Second Session of the 12th National People's Congress on March 7, 2014.