Editor's note: The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China concluded with a blueprint mapped out for China's future development in the next five years and beyond. CGTN is publishing "How China Works – Charting the Future," a special series delving deep into a key report adopted at the congress to see how the country can fulfill the goals and tasks on the new journey of the new era.
Achieving common prosperity is a basic requirement of socialism and an important feature of the Chinese path to modernization.
- Chinese President Xi Jinping
Since the 18th CPC National Congress held in 2012, the Central Committee has identified the changes in a new stage of development, and given greater weight to achieving common prosperity for all our people. Strong measures have been adopted to promote coordinated development across different regions, ensure and improve people's well-being, eradicate absolute poverty, and achieve moderate prosperity, thereby creating favorable conditions for bringing about prosperity for all. Currently, we are in the stage of taking concrete steps towards common prosperity.
Achieving common prosperity is a basic requirement of socialism and an important feature of the Chinese path to modernization. The common prosperity that we pursue, both material and cultural, is for all of our people; it is not for a small minority, nor does it imply an absolute equality in income distribution that takes no account of contribution.
Based on thorough research, we should map out phased goals of common prosperity for different development stages:
By 2025, the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), a solid step will have been taken towards common prosperity, steadily narrowing the gap between people's income and consumption.
By 2035, more substantial progress will have been made in promoting common prosperity, ensuring equal access to basic public services.
By the middle of the 21st century, common prosperity for all will have largely been achieved, narrowing the gap between people's income and consumption to a reasonable level.
To realize the above phased goals, we must lose no time in devising an action plan that contains an effective system of indicators, and a set of evaluation methods suited to China's actual conditions.
The overarching principle is to uphold the people-centered development philosophy and promote common prosperity through high-quality development. We must balance efficiency and fairness in income distribution and devise an institutional framework within which distribution, redistribution and third distribution are coordinated and operate in parallel. Efforts should be intensified to improve the role of taxation, social security and transfer payments in adjusting income distribution, particularly for targeted social groups. The proportion of the middle-income group in the entire population should be increased, the low-income group should have their incomes raised, the high-income group should have their incomes reasonably readjusted, and illicit income should be confiscated, so as to form an olive-shaped distribution structure. The goal is to increase social fairness and justice, promote well-rounded development of the individual, and enable the people to make solid progress towards common prosperity.
In order to enable 1.4 billion people to realize common prosperity, we must maintain a realistic attitude and make a sustained effort. We cannot make everyone wealthy at the same time, nor bring all regions to the same level of wealth simultaneously. There will be different levels of prosperity among different groups of people and different regions, realized on a different timescale. It should be a dynamic process where consistent efforts result in steady progress.
(Source: Extract from Xi Jinping's speech at the 10th meeting of the Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs under the CPC Central Committee, August 17, 2021.)