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Focusing on "Prosperity" and "Common"

Submit Time:21-03-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Chen Zongsheng | Source:People’s Daily (March 1, 2018)

Abstract:

The report at the 19th National Congress of the CPC puts forward that common prosperity for everyone will be basically achieved by the middle of the century. Achieving common prosperity is not only an essential requirement of socialism, but also an important part of building a great modern socialist country in all respects. To achieve common prosperity, we must try really hard to narrow the income gap between regions, between urban and rural areas and between industries, and focus on "prosperity" and "common."  

In order to achieve common prosperity, we must focus on "prosperity." "Poverty is not socialism." This is a remarkable assertion of Deng Xiaoping about the essence of socialism. Over the 40 years since the reform and opening-up, our Party has always kept economic development as the central task and continued to make the economic pie bigger, laying a solid material foundation for achieving common prosperity. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China has made new great achievements in economic development, increased people's living standard significantly and made people have a stronger sense of benefit. In 2017, China achieved the economic aggregate of more than RMB 80 trillion yuan, ranking No. 2 in the world, and secured the position as an upper middle-income country by virtue of its gross national income per capita. After adopting the policy of reform and opening-up, our Party laid out three strategic goals for achieving socialist modernization in China. The first two goals, namely, ensuring that people's basic needs are met and that their lives are generally decent, have been accomplished ahead of time. Now we are in the period that is decisive in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. According to the plan of the 19th National Congress, we will embark on a new journey to realize socialist modernization basically and build a modern socialist country fully on the basis of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.  

Historic achievements and historic change have made the Chinese nation, which since modern times began has endured so much for so long, achieve a tremendous transformation where it has stood up, grown rich and become strong, and promoted the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society from the one between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production into the one between the people's ever-growing needs for a better life and unbalanced and inadequate development. The evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society not only indicates that China's socialist construction has made new breakthroughs, new achievements and moved to a new level, but also sets new and higher requirements for promoting economic and social development. The principal contradiction facing Chinese society in the new era mainly lies in the unbalanced and inadequate development, while the excessive income gap between regions, between urban and rural areas and between industries turns out to be a concrete manifestation of such development. Therefore, in order to achieve common prosperity, we must focus on "common," and earnestly narrow the income gap between regions, between urban and rural areas and between industries.  

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has lifted more than 68 million people out of poverty, created more than 13 million new urban jobs every year, seen the rise in urban and rural income outpaced economic growth, and basically established the social security system covering both urban and rural residents through a series of practical measures including targeted poverty alleviation and eradication as well as active employment policies. These measures and results have gradually narrowed the income gap between residents, between regions and between urban and rural areas, and had the Gini coefficient begin to decline. But, on the whole, the results are preliminary. In order to carefully implement the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the CPC and achieve common prosperity by the middle of the century, we must further take effective measures to keep on narrowing the income gap between regions, between urban and rural areas and between industries. Firstly, we should carry out the strategy of rural vitalization in all aspects, vigorously develop rural economy, deepen the reform of household registration system, accelerate the process of granting urban residency to rural people who have moved to cities and continue to narrow the gap between urban and rural areas. Secondly, we should continue to follow the principle of distribution according to one's work while improving our institutions and mechanisms for distribution based on factors of production, so as to make income distribution fairer and more orderly. We should encourage people to make their money through hard work and legal means, speed up the expansion of the size of the middle-income group, strive to increase the income for people on low incomes, effectively adjust excessive incomes, and resolutely prohibit illicit income. Thirdly, we should shore up weak areas in public services, strengthen the construction of social security system, and earnestly solve the people's difficulties in employment, education, medical care, residence, pension and so on. Fourthly, we should insist on taking targeted measure in poverty alleviation and eradication, and ensure the impoverished population in rural areas are truly lifted out of poverty as planned and not return to poverty.  

It should be mentioned that achieving common prosperity is not to achieve simultaneous or average prosperity regardless of productivity development. Currently, we have to narrow the excessive income gap to promote social equity, and maintain a reasonable income gap to increase economic efficiency. Since it is a long process to achieve common prosperity, we should try hard to improve the income distribution system, normalize the income distribution order and enhance social security on the basis of steadily developing social productivity and constantly increasing economic development quality and effect, to make the development results bring more benefits to all the people in a fairer manner. Meanwhile, we should perfect related institutions and mechanisms, mobilize the initiative and creativity of the people, encourage and support people to live a happy life through their own efforts. 

(Author's Affiliation: Nankai University)


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