The Great Significance of Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects to China and the World
Ambassador Cong Peiwu Publishes a Signed Article on Ottawa Life Magazine
7 July 2021
When talking about China, a topic that people often mention is “Xiaokang society” (moderately prosperous society). So what exactly is a “moderately prosperous society”? This concept has existed since ancient China. A poem from The Book of Songs which dates back to more than 2,500 years ago says that the hard-working people should live in a moderately prosperous society.
“Moderately prosperous society”, the aspiration of Chinese people to live a better life over thousands of years, had never been realized due to historical reasons. After the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1921, especially since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the CPC has endowed “moderately prosperous society” with new connotations. Based on China’s national conditions, the CPC has integrated the concept “moderately prosperous society” into the phased development goal to achieve modernization.
In 1979, according to the actual condition of China’s economic development, Deng Xiaoping put forward the concept of “moderately prosperous society” for the first time. A living standard of “moderately prosperous life” means that on the basis of meeting people’s basic needs, the quality of life should be further improved with sufficient food and clothing. The 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 clearly stated that “China has entered a decisive stage of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.” General Secretary Xi Jinping said that “to realize a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 and realize the first centenary goal is a solemn promise that our Party has made to the Chinese people and to history.”
At a ceremony marking the centenary of the CPC held on July 1st 2021, General Secretary Xi Jinping made a solemn declaration: “It is my honor to declare on behalf of the Party and the people that through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.”
Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a key step to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. Following the 18th CPC National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. We have upheld and strengthened the Party’s overall leadership, ensured coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and modernized China’s system and capacity for governance. We have overcome a long list of major risks and challenges, fulfilled the first centenary goal, and set out strategic steps for achieving the second centenary goal. The Party and the country have made historic achievements and changes.
Since reform and opening up in 1978, more than 770 million of China’s rural population living below the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty. The GDP in China has exceeded 100 trillion yuan, making it the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods and the largest holder of the foreign exchange reserves, accounting for more than 17% of the global economy. Recently, China has also made the world marvel at its achievements in space exploration. With the successful launching of Shenzhou-12 Manned Spaceship, the Chinese entered their own space station for the first time, and the Chinese astronauts carried out their extravehicular activity. After moving out of the node cabin, astronaut Liu Boming said the view outside the Tiangong space station was “stunningly beautiful”.
Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a new great contribution made by China to the world. It brings new development opportunities to the world economy. With the outstanding advantages of the most complete industrial chain and supply chain, China has acted as a “world factory” that did not close during the epidemic, providing strong support for the global economy to get rid of the impact of COVID-19. Despite the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation did not come to a halt. It continued to move forward, showing remarkable resilience and vitality. In 2020, trade in goods between China and BRI partners registered a record of 1.35 trillion US dollars. Together, we have put up an international firewall of cooperation against COVID-19. Up to now, more than 290 billion masks and 3.5 billion protective suits have been provided for various countries, and more than 480 million doses of finished and bulk vaccines have been exported to nearly 100 countries.
Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects also provides a powerful driving force for building a community with a shared future for mankind. We will hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit with greater resolve. China will unwaveringly follow an independent foreign policy of peace, and unwaveringly take the path of peaceful development. China will work to build a new type of international relations, aiming at building an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.
China has received positive comments from the international community for realizing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Some Canadian media outlets also believe that China’s transformation from a backward agricultural society to a prosperous modern economy is indeed worthy of pride. We will ground our work in the new stage of development, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy, foster a new pattern of development, and promote high-quality development. We believe that the further development of China will surely bring new development opportunities to all countries in the world including Canada.