Full Text: China's Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity

White Paper
The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday released a white paper titled "China's Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity."

XinhuaUpdated: September 28, 2021

IV. Prosperity Through Hard Work

China has achieved moderate prosperity in all respects through the consistent hard work and wisdom of the Chinese people. When the PRC was founded, it was a war-torn country mired in poverty. The CPC has united and led the Chinese people in rebuilding the country from scratch through self-reliance and hard work, achieving the moderate prosperity to which they have aspired for thousands of years, and creating a better and moderately prosperous life.

1. Always Putting the People First

Working to benefit the people is fundamental to moderate prosperity. Everything the CPC has done in revolution, reconstruction and reform is designed to ensure a good life for all. The CPC has stayed true to its original aspiration and founding mission, and pressed forward for moderate prosperity for the people, by the people, and with the people.

The CPC has remained committed to its fundamental purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly. It is dedicated to the people and always puts their interests first. It follows the underlying trends of social development and respects the people's principal role in making history. It pursues the lofty goal of working for the wellbeing of the Chinese people, and does everything in the interests of the people.

The CPC is rooted in the people. It is thoroughly aware of their needs, concerns and expectations. From its very beginning, the CPC has striven to serve the people and won their support and endorsement. It represents the fundamental interests of all the Chinese, and everything it does is to realize, safeguard, and advance their interests. Meeting the people's expectation for a better life is its goal. Holding fast to its fundamental purpose, the CPC aims for high standards in building a moderately prosperous society that satisfies the needs of the people.

The CPC regards the people's expectation for a better life as its goal. It makes decisions and adopts policies in the fundamental interests of the people. At different stages of building a moderately prosperous society, the CPC has always acted to advance the people's interests, kept in mind their needs, shared their concerns, and resolved their difficulties.

The CPC has taken sound development as its top priority in governance. It has unleashed and developed the productive forces, and pursued well-rounded human development and common prosperity. Into the new era, as the people's desire for a better life grows stronger, the CPC, with the people's wellbeing at the forefront of its mind, has launched a full range of initiatives, enabling the people to fully share the country's development gains and make continuous progress towards all-round moderate prosperity.

The CPC has relied on the people to build a moderately prosperous society. Moderate prosperity is for the people and by the people, and the participation and endeavor of all the people is indispensable to its success. The CPC ensures the principal status of the people, and mobilizes them to strive for their interests and moderate prosperity, surmounting one obstacle after another and making great strides forward.

The CPC respects the wishes the people express, the experience they accumulate, the rights they have, and the role they play. It motivates the people to be self-reliant and hardworking, inspires their creativity, and pools their wisdom and strength. It has consolidated and developed the broadest possible united front, united all the forces that can be united, and mobilized all positive factors to work as one in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The Chinese people have dedicated themselves to the great journey towards moderate prosperity and a better life. Their epic deeds will go down in history.

2. Developing Sound Policies and Strategies

Building China into a moderately prosperous society in all respects bears on the vital interests of the people and the overall strategy of national rejuvenation. To succeed in this goal, the right policies and strategies are essential. At different historical stages, the CPC has devised such policies based on an accurate analysis of the domestic and international landscape, and set forth practical goals, tasks and roadmaps according to China's conditions. This has provided a sound base for the task of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects to press ahead.

The CPC has strengthened strategic planning and policy design. Keeping in mind key factors involved, such as objectives, driving forces, pathways, opportunities, challenges, and internal and external conditions, the CPC has pressed ahead in a holistic manner by adopting forward thinking, planning the big picture, organizing its strategies and implementing them as a whole.

After the reform and opening-up initiative was introduced in the late 1970s, confronted by the challenges of a large population, complex national conditions, and imbalances in development, the CPC addressed the relationships between the coastal areas and interior provinces, between the eastern and western regions, and between partial and common prosperity, encouraging some regions and some people to create wealth as a first step to prosperity for all. This approach has resulted in remarkable improvements in people's living standards and in the level of shared development across society.

In the new era, based on a sound understanding of the current situation in China and an accurate assessment that China is in the final stages of achieving moderate prosperity in all respects, the CPC has rolled out the Five-sphere Integrated Plan and implemented the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy. Achieving a moderately prosperous society in all respects became the strategic goal; underpinned by deeper reform, the rule of law, and stricter Party self-governance as the supporting measures; and ending absolute poverty as the key task. It has furthered supply-side structural reform, promoted high-standard opening up, expedited the formation of a new economic dynamic, improved development quality, and finally achieved the great goal with the support and efforts of all the people.

The CPC has kept pace with global trends. Based on its belief that peace and development are the themes of our times, it has maintained an independent foreign policy of peace, and followed the path of peaceful development. It has actively contributed to building a global community of shared future, and has always been firm in its commitment to foster a peaceful international environment for China's development, which in turn promotes world peace and common development. These elements combined create a favorable external environment for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The CPC has formulated time-phased objectives. To meet the goal of moderate prosperity, the CPC has adopted progressive tactics, defining time-phased goals and tasks and achieving its successes in a series of steps.

• In the 1960s, the CPC set the goal of achieving the Four Modernizations – industry, agriculture, national defense, and science and technology – by the end of the 20th century, and devised a two-stage development plan5 to this end.

• In the early stages of reform and opening up, the CPC set the goal of delivering a xiaokang life for the people by the end of the 20th century.

• In the mid-1980s, the CPC formulated a three-step strategic plan for modernization.

• In the mid-1990s, it proposed a new three-step strategic plan for economic development and social progress.

• Entering the new century, the CPC proposed to build a moderately prosperous society of a higher standard to the benefit of the whole population in the first two decades.

• In the new era, the CPC set the goal of achieving a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021, when the Party would celebrate its centenary.

In order to achieve the phased goals, five-year plans for national economic and social development have been formulated and implemented, guaranteeing continuity and consistency in policymaking. With this approach, and after decades of pragmatic and sustained efforts, China has realized the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The CPC has reviewed experience and summarized its findings. The CPC continuously expands its understanding of such questions as what constitutes a moderately prosperous society, and how we can achieve it. Through the resulting judgments – that neither poverty nor slow development is socialism, that achieving common prosperity is an essential requirement of socialism, and that the Party will promote well-rounded human development and common prosperity – it has gained a deeper understanding of the essence of socialism, and achieved a clearer picture of the goal of a moderately prosperous society. Meanwhile, its understanding of the attributes of a socialist society has expanded from "prosperous, strong and democratic", to also include "culturally advanced, and harmonious", and then "beautiful", providing a more comprehensive grasp of what is necessary to create a moderately prosperous society. It has shifted its focus from economic growth to economic development, from comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development to innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, and from high-speed growth to high-quality development.

Over the years, the CPC has attached great importance to understanding and applying the basic principles of development, and has worked out a series of economic, political, cultural, social, and eco-environmental measures, which have led to greater progress in building a moderately prosperous society.

The CPC has expedited development by resolving problems and defusing risks. The CPC employs a problem-oriented approach – steadily moving China towards its goal of moderate prosperity by identifying and addressing problems one after another. The principal challenge facing the country at first was the gap between the low level of production and the growing material and cultural needs of the people; it is now the gap between unbalanced and inadequate development and the growing expectation of the people for a better life. To tackle these challenges, the CPC has formulated targeted policies and measures based on an accurate analysis of the nature of the principal problems at different stages of development.

Facing multiple conventional and unconventional risks and challenges, either predictable or unforeseen, from both within China and abroad, and from both human society and nature, the CPC has done what is required to ensure continuous and consistent development.

Since its 18th National Congress, the CPC has addressed itself to solving the problems that concern the people most and affect their vital interests. Special attention is being directed to removing obstacles hampering fairness, justice, and common prosperity.

The CPC has also worked to address shortcomings in achieving all-round moderate prosperity. A series of pioneering measures have been rolled out, such as preventing the disorderly expansion of capital, and ensuring fairness and justice in every judicial case. Determined that housing is for living in, not for speculation, the CPC has taken clear steps to keep the housing market under control. To ease the pressure on students, a "double reduction" policy has been implemented to reduce homework and after-school tutoring.

All these measures – focusing on high-quality growth and coordinating development and security – have guaranteed that the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects has been realized on schedule, and laid a solid foundation for China's longer-term development.

3. Development Through Reform and Opening Up

Reform and opening up is essential for achieving moderate prosperity in all respects. It was a critical move in raising China to its current level, and will be a key step in realizing the Two Centenary Goals and national rejuvenation. Together, the CPC and the Chinese people have seized historic opportunities and properly managed enormous change. By staying committed to deeper reform and broader opening to the world, China has realized the greatest economic and social transformation in contemporary history.

Reform has created momentum for achieving moderate prosperity in all respects. Faced with new situations and problems, the CPC has succeeded in leading the Chinese people to free their minds, seek truth from facts, and advance with the times through reform and innovation, so as to remove the barriers that hinder development. The household contract responsibility system was introduced in rural areas, and special economic zones were set up. Shifting from a model of pure public ownership to a model where public ownership plays the dominant role while economic entities operate under diverse forms of ownership, China consolidated and developed the public sector of the economy, and encouraged, supported, and guided the non-public sector. The economic system has been reformed, evolving from a planned economy to a socialist market economy, so that the market can play a decisive role in resource allocation, while the government can better perform its roles. The focus has shifted from economic structural reform to comprehensive reform of the economic, political, cultural, social and eco-environmental systems, as well as strengthening governance of the Party.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China's reform has entered uncharted waters and faced new challenges. The CPC has shown great political courage, enacting more than 2,400 measures to remove deep-rooted obstacles, and promoting further reform in all respects in a swift yet steady manner. Breakthroughs and decisive results have been achieved in key areas. Some fields have even experienced a total and systemic restructuring. Through exploration by trial and error and top-level design, China stays focused on solving problems and achieving goals, and expands all-round reform on the back of successful pilot programs. Through this approach, the Party has been able to advance reform and development while maintaining stability, ensuring that building moderate prosperity in all respects has continued in an active manner.

Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects has progressed in parallel with China's interaction with the rest of the world. In the process, China has kept its doors wide open. China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world. The Chinese people have embraced the world with open arms, learned from the world, and integrated with the rest of the world. China has engaged in "welcoming in" and "going global" on a large scale. By making opening up a catalyst for reform, development and innovation, China has achieved a great transition from seclusion and semi-seclusion to comprehensive openness. In the new era, China is furthering its opening up on a larger scale, in more fields, and to a deeper level. It has opened its doors wider to the world through a series of measures, including high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, key platforms such as the China International Import Expo, pilot free trade zones, and optimizing the business environment. More foreign companies invest in China and start businesses here, with ever more of foreigners coming to China to study, work and travel. At the same time, more Chinese companies are investing abroad, and the number of Chinese people going abroad to study, work and travel is also on the increase.

Opening up has brought China capital, advanced technology, and management expertise. It has changed the mindset of the Chinese people, stimulated their creative enthusiasm, and contributed to the country's modernization. China's development has also brought benefits to the world: its opening up has created vast business possibilities for other countries; its outbound investment and cooperation has promoted local growth and employment; its active participation in the international division of labor has contributed to a more rational allocation of global resources; and its exports have satisfied the needs of the international market with their high quality. The Chinese people have made their mark, promoting exchanges and mutual learning all around the world.

4. Perseverance over Generations

A moderately prosperous society in all respects has been achieved in China through much hard work by many people. In a country with 1.4 billion people, a better life can only materialize through hard work rather than waiting and wanting. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have focused on their goals and persevered with their efforts. They have transformed China into a beautiful country where people can enjoy peace and stability. They have achieved moderate prosperity and embarked on the road to common prosperity.

China has adhered to an independent and self-reliant path. To build a moderately prosperous society to the benefit of the whole population in a large developing country, it is essential to choose the right path. Through long-term experimentation and practice, the Chinese people have adapted the basic tenets of Marxism to China's realities and its traditional culture. In choosing a path with Chinese characteristics, they have always respected the principles of independence and self-reliance, managing China's affairs in accordance with the country's actual conditions.

By following this path, they have made progress in economic, political, cultural, social, eco-environmental and other respects while keeping economic development as the central task. They have furthered reform and opening up while upholding the Four Cardinal Principles6. They have promoted well-rounded human development and worked to achieve common prosperity, and continued to unleash and develop the productive forces. In the field of science and technology, the CPC has maintained its policy of self-reliance. Through endogenous innovations and its own strengths, China has seen science and technology advance in leaps and bounds.

In just a few decades, it has gone through a process of modernization that took developed countries centuries to complete, and has maintained rapid economic growth and lasting social stability, an achievement remarkable by all standards.

China has achieved moderate prosperity through the joint efforts of its hardworking people. The Chinese people are inured to hardships. In the early years of the PRC, they carried forward the revolutionary traditions of fearing neither hardship nor death and worked hard to rebuild a war-torn country from scratch. They brought tremendous changes to China in every field, from rural to urban areas and from agriculture and industry to science and technology. Thanks to their efforts, a new China soon rose from the ruins.

After the launch of reform and opening up, the Chinese people were bold in breaking new ground, and every successful step in modernization was gained through their resolute efforts.

In the new era they have carried forward the spirit of innovation, hard work and unity in pursuit of their shared dreams, and overcome challenges one after another, amazing the world with their successes. Their perseverance has made it possible for China to turn its blueprint for development into reality.

Moderate prosperity in China has been achieved through the unremitting efforts of generations. In this process, every individual has chased their dreams, striven to make the best of themselves, and made their own contribution to the country.

Overseas Chinese have actively participated in building China into a moderately prosperous society. With the motherland and their "ancestor's" homeland in their hearts, Chinese living abroad have made a huge contribution to China's success. China's growing prosperity and national rejuvenation have given a great boost to their pride in the nation and their sense of identity. All the Chinese people at home and abroad now share the happiness that prosperity has brought.

CPC leadership has provided the fundamental guarantee for realizing moderate prosperity. At different historical stages, the Party has accurately assessed the underlying trends of the times, analyzed the situation, and grasped the process of development. It has made the right decisions and ensured continuous progress towards its goal.

The Party exercises overall leadership, coordinates the efforts of all, and exploits the institutional strengths of Chinese socialism. It has united the Chinese people and rallied a mighty force for building a moderately prosperous society.

Generations of Chinese Communists have upheld the Party's founding spirit, fought hard and prevailed. Numerous individuals have made enormous sacrifices for the realization of all-round moderate prosperity.

Without CPC leadership, there would be no moderate prosperity. The Party shares the people's aspirations, works hard together with them, and acts as their guide. Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people can look forward to a better and happier life.

5 The first stage was to build an independent and relatively comprehensive industrial and economic system by 1980. The second stage was to achieve modernization of agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology by the end of the 20th century, bringing China to the forefront of the global economy.

6 This refers to keeping to the socialist path and upholding the people's democratic dictatorship, the leadership of the CPC, and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought.

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