China’s Xi Says Common Prosperity Doesn’t Mean Full Equality
(Bloomberg) -- President Xi Jinping said the “common prosperity” drive that’s put China’s richest citizens on notice was about creating a society that’s prosperous “overall” rather than “uniform egalitarianism.”
“Not everyone will be wealthy at the same time and not all regions will reach the same level of wealth at the same time,” Xi said in an August speech published Friday by the Qiushi Journal, a publication of the ruling Communist Party.
“The common prosperity we are talking about is the common prosperity of all people, the material and spiritual life of the people is rich, it’s not the prosperity of a few people, nor uniform egalitarianism,” Xi said at a meeting of the party’s Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs, the magazine reported.
Similar to building a moderately prosperous society, common prosperity shouldn’t be divided into regional targets. “It should be viewed from the overall perspective,” he said.
In the speech, the Chinese president set out a timeline for realizing equal access to basic public services by 2035 and for common prosperity to be “basically achieved” by 2050.
Xi outlined action points on the path toward common prosperity:
- Creating channels for upward mobility and opportunities for more people to get rich to avoid “involution” and “lying flat.”
- Opposing the “disorderly expansion of capital” and enhancing antitrust regulation.
- Increasing training and compensation for skilled workers and addressing the educational needs of migrant workers’ children to bring more people into the middle-income group.
- Advancing legislation on real-estate tax and studying expanding the scope of consumption tax collection.
- Strengthening the guiding role of socialist core values to promote “spiritual” wealth.
The Communist Party’s declaration of victory last year in a landmark eight-year drive to eradicate extreme poverty, among other achievements, had brought China to the right “historical stage” to promote common prosperity, Xi said in the speech.
Xi said common prosperity is central to social stability, stressing the need to learn from the “social division, political polarization, and rampant populism” in unnamed countries with prominent income inequality.
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