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What is the "common prosperity" China keeps talking about?

What is the "common prosperity" China keeps talking about?

BEIJING, Oct. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report by on common prosperity:

China has recently redoubled its efforts to achieve common prosperity, and people are talking about it all over China and elsewhere.

At the same time, China has stepped up efforts to regulate internet companies' monopoly conduct and to govern the entertainment business. As always, some foreign media have begun to look for clandestine motives behind these moves.

Regulating any monopoly, or disorderly or unregulated financial conduct, is a standard approach in the international community. It is also one of the ways to help China realize its goal of common prosperity. However, equating common prosperity with clamping down on tycoon companies and the rich is a misguided step that blurs the real picture. Certain foreign media have even used expressions like "tightening control" and "neo-populism" in their coverage, demonstrating a failure to understand why China has set this goal in the first place.

China is a socialist country, for which realizing common prosperity is an essential goal. Common prosperity does not mean removing all income gaps among people, but putting an end to wealth polarization and letting everyone live a reasonably prosperous life. In other words, common prosperity should neither be prosperity for the minority, nor prosperity with growing internal gaps.

Many have noticed that on the Hurun Global Rich List 2021, there are over 1000 individuals from China with an asset value of over 1 billion USD. Some Chinese actress can earn 160 million RMB (about 25 million USD) for starring in a TV series. At the same time, around 600 million Chinese people live on about 1000 RMB (about 156 USD) every month, according to official data. Like many other developing countries, China's income structure takes the form of a "pyramid," with a wealthy elite at the apex, while the great majority belong to low-income groups.

Therefore, achieving common prosperity means forming a stable olive-shaped structure, not by cutting off the tip of the pyramid, but by increasing the income of those at the bottom, then enlarging the middle-income demographic.

Not long ago, the tenth meeting of China's Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs also offered solutions: providing more equitable conditions for people to enjoy better education, so that more people can climb the social ladder; and supporting SMEs so that more people can increase their income by starting their own business and working hard. Compared to some developed countries, China's ability to adjust taxation and social welfare is not so strong and less easily targeted. Therefore, by improving institutions and providing fairer public services like elderly care, medical care and housing, middle and low-income groups can have their standard of living guaranteed, and enjoy more equitable wealth distribution.

In light of this, it is easier to understand why, in hindsight, China has taken strict measures to regulate the market, and clamp down on conduct including tax evasion, unchecked capital expansion, and unfair competition among e-commerce platforms, such as forced exclusive cooperation. All these are to sustain a healthy economic development, while enabling people to share social resources and development dividends in a more reasonable way.

For decades, China made enormous social and economic progress through the hard work, innovation and pioneering spirit of the Chinese people, and it would be illogical for China to stifle such trends. For the same reason, the dividends of development should be shared by every Chinese. Achieving common prosperity and letting people share the fruits of development – these are goals to which China is fully dedicated.

China Mosaic

What is the "common prosperity" China keeps talking about?

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