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Chinese Modernization:Leaving No One Behind

Modernization is not a luxury for the privileged few. It is the common pursuit of all people around the world. As a developing country with 1.4 billion people, China pursuits a modernization process that features common prosperity, and that is key to the Chinese path to modernization.

Common prosperity is our consistent goal

As President Xi pointed out, common prosperity is what socialism is essentially about and what the people want. All our efforts to grow the economy and better the society, ultimately, are to realize common prosperity for all. Everything China has done under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and especially since China has entered the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, is to meet the expectation of the people through successive efforts.

Confidence comes from solid progress

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, achieving common prosperity for all has featured ever more prominently in China’s agenda. Good conditions have been created for realizing this goal, through balancing regional development, winning the fight against poverty and successfully building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Rising industrial and agricultural productivity has made supply shortage a thing of the past. China is the only country in the world that ticks all the industrial category boxes under the U.N.’s industrial classification standard. The value added of its manufacturing sector takes up nearly 30 percent of the global total, easily topping the world. Its per capita food supply is over 470 kg, far above the 400 kg international food security line.

Stronger education and scientific and technological capacities are the powerhouse for sustained growth. More than 200 million Chinese people have received higher education. Around 60 percent of its economic growth are spurred by scientific and technological advancement. And China boasts a notable edge in emerging strategic sectors like new energy vehicles and artificial intelligence.

The parallel increase in economic volume and people’s income reflects a more inclusive growth. In 2022, China contributed 17 percent of the world’s GDP. Its urban/rural ratio of per capita disposable income, an index on income disparity, has lowered from 2.88 ten years ago to the current 2.45. China won the unprecedented battle against poverty, lifting nearly 100 million rural people out of poverty despite the pandemic, a giant step toward common prosperity for all.

Tested measures tailored to Chinese realities

Besides the grand vision and blueprints, to realize modernization of the country, we also need concrete measures that are in line with the general rules and the Chinese realities. The Chinese path to modernization features development for the people and by the people, and the development fruits are shared by all. The widely acclaimed victory against poverty is a good example of its significant progress toward common prosperity. The following are some typical measures taken in this process:

First, targeted poverty alleviation. This is to maximize the use of limited resources. A primary-level government identifies each and every poor household under its jurisdiction, creates a file for it and starts the ongoing process of lifting it out of poverty. But for any poor household to be registered, its qualifications must be disclosed for public supervision at both the village and township level, then compared with nationwide data, and finally confirmed and made public by the county government. The rigorous and transparent process ensures that the available labor, materials and financial resources are used where they are most needed.

Second, blood making rather than blood transfusion. Poor households are encouraged to seek sustainable development on their own, by tapping into their unique location advantages and local resources. Instead of cash distribution and other consumption-end measures, China’s poverty alleviation focuses more on the production side, such as helping people to set up businesses, secure start-up loans and get skills training.

Third, all-out efforts by governments at all levels. Poverty alleviation performance is a key criterion in the evaluation, appointment and promotion of public servants at all levels of government, the county and township all the way to the CPC Central Committee departments and state organs. Relatively better-off provinces, cities, counties and entities are paired up with their poor peers, providing funds, people and other assistance. More than 3 million officials have thus been dispatched as first secretaries and resident officials to poor villages and work and live together with the poverty-stricken people there.

And finally, full participation of the society. In such an enabling social environment of government policy support, wide mobilization and public participation, many Internet companies in China have voluntarily helped remote regions sell their products via live streaming, and they taught rural residents how to utilize social media platforms to grow their business. As a result, many must-buy local products and must-visit places are known to the world.

Common prosperity for global development

Prosperity is not real until it’s common prosperity, and development is true only when it’s development of all countries. While marching toward modernization, China will increase its input to global development cooperation, provide more opportunities for the world, let the development fruits be shared more widely and fairly, and embrace a brighter future of common development with people of all countries in the world.

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