On 22 March, China unveiled its 14th five-year plan for the modern energy system. The plan’s title deviates from previous naming convention (five-year plan for energy development), re-affirming China’s most recent policy direction. It also provides more clarity on the country’s energy pathway towards 2025. . Our interpretation of the plan’s key messages and rationale behind it are: • Stability and cost control taking centre stage. • Addressing new pain points in China’s energy system. • Quality over quantity. • Inclusion of and coherence with existing climate goals.