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China's vision and pursuit of common prosperity

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While embarking on the journey of comprehensively building a modern socialist country, China has envisioned a future where prosperity is shared by everyone in the country.

XinhuaUpdated:  August 24, 2021

While embarking on the journey of comprehensively building a modern socialist country, China has envisioned a future where prosperity is shared by everyone in the country.

Aerial photo taken on March 24, 2020 shows farmers harvesting oranges in Liangqing District of Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Zhou Hua)

The term "common prosperity" has been brought up several times in key official documents recently. After listing progress in common prosperity in its 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), the country's leadership stressed the need to pursue it and expounded on the term in a meeting last week, bringing it under the spotlight.

What is common prosperity? Why does China emphasize it? How will the country achieve it? Here are some explanations.

-- What is common prosperity?

Common prosperity refers to affluence shared by everyone both in material and cultural terms, and should be advanced step by step, said the meeting on financial and economic affairs.

In particular, it emphasized that such prosperity does not cover only a few people or parts of the country.

Rather than being egalitarian at the expense of efficiency, common prosperity should be attained through hard work and innovation, with chances for more people to become wealthy.

-- Why does China emphasize common prosperity?

Common prosperity is an essential requirement of socialism and a key feature of Chinese-style modernization, according to the meeting.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, the country has gradually put common prosperity in a more prominent position. Now, with victory in the anti-poverty fight and the completion of the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, China has favorable conditions for promoting common prosperity.

The goal is also vital to improving people's well-being. As China marches toward its second centenary goal, the focus of promoting people's well-being entails boosting common prosperity, said the meeting.

-- How will the country achieve it?

To achieve the goal, China vows to establish a scientific public policy system and a reasonable distribution system that benefits everyone. There is a focus on primary and inclusive projects that facilitate people's well-being and guarantee their basic needs.

Highlighting the importance of appropriately dealing with the relationship between efficiency and fairness, the country plans to make basic institutional arrangements on income distribution. It also plans to expand the size of the middle-income group and adjust excessive incomes to promote social fairness and justice.

Other planned measures include protecting property rights and intellectual property rights, the healthy development of different types of capital, and the advancement of common prosperity among farmers and in rural areas, the meeting said.

Actions are already underway. According to a guideline unveiled in June, Zhejiang Province, an economic powerhouse, has been designated as a demonstration zone for promoting common prosperity.

Under the guideline, the province will strive to grow its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) to the level of moderately developed economies by 2025 and basically achieve common prosperity by 2035, with its per capita GDP and the income of urban and rural residents reaching the standard for developed countries.