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‘China’s Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity’ Details How China Pulled 770 Million People Out of Poverty

Sept. 28, 2021 (EIRNS)—“China’s Epic Journey from Poverty to Prosperity,” in English, a 72-page White Paper, was released today by the State Council Information Office (SCIO), giving Beijing’s account of how China was able to free 770 million people from deep rural poverty and to build the world’s largest social security system. The full text is available from the SCIO, as well as various news agencies.

China’s achieved “moderate prosperity” (xiaokang) by attacking the biggest weakness of the society, the vast rural poverty. With a national mission, a strong central government, and a willingness to invest in projects that made sense over time, even if they may not turn a profit overnight, they accomplished the work. And in doing so, the achievement not only helped China but also contributes to peace and development, and therefore is the foundation for common prosperity. It is now the basis for China’s interaction with the world as a whole, centered around offer of the Belt and Road.

With the profound experience of accomplishing such a national goal, China’s leaders have their eyes on another 30-year goal: By mid-century, they mean to go beyond “xiaokang” to become “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.” (That’s correct—“beautiful” is a key part of the mission task!) Midway, the 2035 goal includes a per-capita GDP of at least $20,000 (the World Bank standard of “moderately developed”). Global Times today interviewed several key individuals in developing the intermediate 2035 goal.

The former vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association Tian Yun identified rural revitalization as the key for the 2035 goal, and vital rural-urban connectivity. Urban jobs were necessary for converting migrant workers to the economic and cultural benefits of cities. So, modernization and industrialization are actually the road for rural revitalization. As director of the China Agriculture Industry Chamber of Commerce Sun Wenhua further developed the point: China has accelerated a new type of relationship between industry and agriculture, including efficient transportation infrastructure systems, and the two-way flow of goods and peoples. Finally, the paper cites Bai Wenxi, chief economist of Interpublic Group of Companies: “To narrow the wealth gap and tackle imbalance development, China has a strong central government, which has the power of mobilization, and all levels of local governments are empowered by the staunch ability of implementation, and those are what makes China [able] to mobilize the whole country to achieve its goals, to make great progress.” His example made the point: Sending experts to rural areas to assist in assimilation and mastery of new technologies of production was a key deployment of manpower and talent, although, “Those policies won’t have visible economic benefits in the short term.” But they are necessary, and it’s the role of strong centralized leadership that can make such long-term commitments work.

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