What does it mean to achieve a 'Xiaokang society'?
China has achieved its goal of building a "Xiaokang society" – a moderately prosperous society – in all respects. What does that mean in a country of 1.4 billion people?
The Communist Party of China (CPC) began discussing the idea of a "Xiaokang society" about 40 years ago, at the beginning of China's reform and opening-up. But it was in 2002 that the 16th CPC National Congress formally proposed "building a Xiaokang society in all respects." In 2012, the 18th CPC National Congress expanded this goal to focus on five aspects: economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress.
China's rapid economic development laid a solid foundation for building a "Xiaokang society in all respects."
From 2010 to 2020, both gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income doubled. In 2020, China's GDP exceeded 100 trillion yuan ($14.7 trillion), accounting for more than 17 percent of the world economy. Per capita GDP was 10 times higher than in 2000 – making China one of the top middle-income countries.
Urban and rural residents have seen their income grow rapidly. In 2020, the average per capita disposable income reached 32,189 yuan ($4,665). The Engel coefficient dropped to 30.2 percent in 2020, from 60 percent a few decades earlier, illustrating the country's rising standard of living.
By the end of 2020, 1.36 billion people – 95 percent of the population – had basic medical insurance. Meanwhile, 999 million people – over 90 percent of the population – were covered by the pension system.
China's cultural industry has also seen rapid growth. In 2019, it accounted for 4.5 percent of GDP, up nearly 1.7 percentage points from 2010. The results of the seventh national census in 2020 meanwhile showed that people's level of education had increased.
In terms of resources and the environment, the proportion of clean energy has increased rapidly. In 2020, clean energy accounted for 24.3 percent of China's total energy consumption.
At the same time, China completed its goal of eliminating extreme poverty on schedule by the end of 2020. Nearly 100 million people were lifted out of poverty since 2012 with the implementation of targeted poverty alleviation.
Lifting entire communities out of poverty and taking the road of common prosperity have been landmark indicators of building a well-off society in all respects.