International Department of the CPC Central Committee       BEIJING REVIEW
Special Issue on Promoting Common Prosperity Amid High-Quality Development       MONTHLY
Foreign Media Eye on China's Common Prosperity
 

 

Not a single ethnic group, family or person should be left behind in the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. After completing its first centenary goal, China has upped its efforts leading the country toward common prosperity. This has also become a buzzword for foreign media outlets, as they wonder 1) what common prosperity is and 2) how China will achieve it. 

Japan's Asahi Shimbun reported that China's leadership is committed to achieving common prosperity, a future goal of reform and opening up proposed by Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of China's pro-market reforms. He put forward the idea of allowing some people to get rich first, who then inspire and help others to become rich and in turn gradually achieve common prosperity.

According to Reuters, "common prosperity" was first mentioned in the 1950s by Mao Zedong, founding leader of what was then an impoverished country, and repeated in the 1980s by Deng. Deng said that allowing some people and regions to get rich first would speed up economic growth and help achieve the ultimate goal of common prosperity. China became an economic powerhouse under the policy of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Chinese leaders have pledged to use taxation and other income redistribution levers to expand the proportion of middle-income citizens, boost incomes of the poor, "rationally adjust excessive incomes," and ban illegal incomes, the report says.

 

In one of its articles, the Wall Street Journal mentioned that common prosperity wasn't a new term, but one that has taken on greater significance more recently. It was used by Chinese President Xi Jinping at a major meeting on financial and economic affairs, reflecting the government's heightened focus on social equality.

An article published on Clarin.com of Argentina pointed out that the 10th meeting of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs stressed efforts to promote common prosperity in the pursuit of high-quality development, which symbolize a strategic shift from allowing some people and regions to get rich first to try and achieve common prosperity for all.

It is no longer the rate of economic expansion that is essential, but the distribution of income. It is a qualitative aspect that is at stake, not the nominal GDP boom. And the objective is to obtain high quality growth, sustained by the intensive consumption of all social sectors. For that, it is necessary to expand wealth and achieve common prosperity, according to Clarin.com.

 

The meeting further outlined the connotation of common prosperity and how to achieve it, with distribution at the core. It pointed out that as China marches toward its second centenary goal, the focus of promoting people's well-being should be on boosting common prosperity to strengthen the foundation for the Party's long-term governance.

Rather than being egalitarian or having only a few people prosperous, common prosperity refers to affluence shared by everyone, both in material and cultural terms, and shall be advanced step by step, it said.

The meeting encouraged creating conditions that are more inclusive and fair for people to get better education and improve their development capabilities, as well as shaping a development environment that provides chances for more people to become wealthy. It called for establishing a scientific public policy system and a reasonable distribution system that benefits everyone with a focus on primary and inclusive projects that facilitate the people's well-being and guarantee their basic needs.

At this point, the path of how to achieve common prosperity has been basically clear, the article carried by Reuters said.

Foreign media outlets have also noted that China has already found pioneers on the road to common prosperity. According to The Hill, China is using the eastern province of Zhejiang to test a series of initiatives to promote common prosperity as the country grapples with gaps between urban and rural development, unequal income distribution and a lack of consistency in development.

 

British media also concluded that Zhejiang, with its balanced development between urban and rural areas and regional prosperity, has become a pioneer in building a demonstration zone of common prosperity.

Some of the reforms that China is looking to make include adjusting the minimum wage standard, creating incentives for people to give back to their society, strengthening enforcement around anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition laws and amending "excessively high" incomes, The Hill said.

China's strong recovery from COVID-19 has given the Chinese Government the ability to pursue long-term development goals, according to experts cited in the Wall Street Journal. In 2020, against the backdrop of the widened spread of COVID-19 and the worst recession since World War II, China’s economy recovered quickly and achieved strong growth, becoming the only major economy in the world to achieve positive growth. China will see the highest year-on-year economic growth rate of any major economy in 2021, according to the World Bank's Global Economic Outlook in June.

 

Foreign media have stressed that China will encourage high-income people and enterprises to give more back to society through charitable donations. China's pursuit of common prosperity calls for better governance and a more balanced economy, as well as the proper handling of the relationship between efficiency and equity.

In outlining its goal of common prosperity, China has confirmed its direction of rebalancing its economy by addressing social inequality through redistribution, social welfare, taxation and inclusive education to broaden the size of the middle-income groups, CNBC cited a report by Morgan Stanley analysts as saying.

Reducing inequality is a global issue facing the world today. As the world's largest developing country, China's efforts toward common prosperity is undoubtedly of global significance.

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