Cyprus Mail
China Guest Columnist Sponsored Content

Realising moderate prosperity in all respects: a major contribution China has made to the world

city 4734752 960 720

By Liu Yantao

On July 1, 2021, at a ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President Xi Jinping solemnly declared that China had realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. What is a moderately prosperous society? How did China build a moderately prosperous society? What influence will it have to the rest of the world? Here, I would like to give an overview to my Cypriot friends.

I. A moderately prosperous society in all respects puts people first with coordinated progress in the economic, political, cultural, social, and eco-environmental fields

People’s material standard of living has been greatly improved. China succeeded in feeding 1.4 billion people, almost 20% of world population, with 9% of arable land and 6% of fresh water of the world, and completed the arduous task of eradicating absolute poverty as scheduled last year. In the past 40 years, China’s compound annual GDP growth was 9.2%, much higher than the world average of 2.7%. With per capita GDP rising to over US$10,000 and the middle-income population exceeding 400 million, China has achieved a historic transformation from a low-income country to an upper-middle-income country. People have no worries about food and clothing. Education, medical care, housing, drinking water and other conditions have been notably improved. Moreover, all these are guaranteed by institutions and laws.

The protection of people’s democratic rights has been continuously improved. China implements whole-process democracy, which not only includes the people’s right to vote or be elected in accordance with the law, but is also reflected in the decision-making of major events in a country’s political, economic and social development and in the people’s daily lives. The people are truly the masters of their own country with their participation and supervision, and consultations and discussions are conducted with all political parties and the whole society. Among the deputies to the current National People’s Congress (NPC), frontline workers and farmers account for 15.7%, and all 56 ethnic groups are represented. In the process of drafting the extremely important Civil Code, more than 1.02 million comments and suggestions were received from 425,000 people. During the preparation of the “14th Five-Year Plan”, hundreds of symposiums were held for experts in various fields, democratic parties, and people without party affiliation. More than 1.018 million comments and suggestions were collected, many of which were adopted. Harvard Kennedy School’s polls on China for 13 consecutive years show that the Chinese citizen satisfaction with the Chinese government and the CPC has always remained above 90%.

People are enjoying richer cultural activities. There were 3,212 public libraries nationwide, and all public libraries, cultural centers, cultural stations, art galleries and more than 90% of museums have been opened for free. In 2020, the comprehensive reading rate of Chinese adult citizens is 81.3%, and museums across the country received 540 million visits. China boasts 56 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 42 intangible cultural heritage items on the UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, ranking first in the world. Globally, China’s annual output of TV series and books ranks first and its output of movies ranks second. At the same time, China has entered an era of mass tourism. In 2019, the Chinese people took 4.3 trips on average, and the number of outbound tourists continued to grow rapidly.

People are enjoying a more harmonious and stable society. China’s average life expectancy is 77 years. Almost every Chinese citizen enjoys basic medical insurance and/or basic old-age insurance and pension, and has access to public services through their communities or municipalities. China has established the world’s largest education system, and the gross enrollment rates of higher education is 54.4%, ranking in the upper-middle category worldwide in terms of modern education. China’s achievements in fighting against Covid-19 bear witness to the strengths of China’s medical and health care system. China’s overall improvement in social management lifted the public’s sense of security to an impressive 98.4% in 2020. China maintains long-term social harmony and stability, allowing its people to live in peace and contentment in a country widely recognized as one of the safest in the world.

The production activities and lifestyle in China are getting greener and more environment-friendly. China’s forest coverage rate has reached 23%, and about one quarter of the world’s newly-added greening areas from 2000 to 2017 came from China, ranking first in the world. In 2020, 87% days reached good or excellent urban air quality. China tops the world in terms of new energy use and progress in energy conservation with its energy consumption per unit of GDP falling by 13.2% and carbon emissions dropping by 18.8% from 2015 to 2020. The globally observed elephant migration in Yunnan Province not long ago has also highlighted China’s efforts and effectiveness in wildlife protection.

II. China’s moderate prosperity in all respects has been achieved through the consistent hard work and wisdom of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC

The CPC has united and led the Chinese people to build a moderately prosperous society from scratch. When the PRC was founded, it was a war-torn country mired in poverty with a large population base and uneven development. Cities and towns, usually declining and rundown, were very few. Even matches and nails had to be imported. Most working people were farmers who were illiterate or semi-illiterate. The CPC has formulated routes and policies to improve the living standards of the people, united and led the people in hard work, in reform and opening up, and in the implementation of 13 five-year plans. Governments at all levels and people of various sectors have worked together toward one direction, guaranteeing continuity and consistency in achieving the phased goals of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The CPC has led the people to work together to build a moderately prosperous society. In such a process, especially over the past five years, the central government have fought a steadfast war against poverty by exploiting the institutional strengths of Chinese socialism to unite the people of 56 ethnic groups and adopt special policies to encourage some specific regions and people to take the lead in creating wealth and help each other to achieve common prosperity. It is a framework involving the whole society with the full participation of multiple players from different regions, sectors, departments and businesses. Policies were made at all levels and responsibilities were cascaded, and each poor county had a designated supporting unit. General Secretary of the CPC Xi Jinping himself visited China’s 14 contiguous areas of extreme poverty, assuming leadership, making plans, and putting his weight behind the endeavor to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Through the joint efforts of several generations and all the people, China’s goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects has finally become a reality.

III. China’s moderate prosperity in all respects has provided people of all countries with greater development opportunities through opening-up and win-win cooperation

The establishment of a moderately prosperous society in all respects in China represents a substantial contribution to global poverty reduction. Since China launched its reform and opening up, 770 million rural Chinese have crossed China’s current poverty line and moved out of poverty. Poverty reduction in China represents 70% of the global total, achieving the target set by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule and making the total population of economies whose per capita GDP exceeds US$10,000 increased by 1.4 billion, nearly doubled. In recent years, global poverty reduction had been regressing, with more and more people falling under the poverty line. Against this backdrop, China’s historic success in poverty reduction has boosted the confidence and strength of other peoples who are fighting to eliminate poverty.

In achieving a moderately prosperous society, China has unlocked new potential for world economic growth. China has been the largest contributor to world economic growth for 15 consecutive years since 2006, making an average annual contribution of more than 30%. In the new era, China has been adhering to the new concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, and the country has witnessed the rapid development of strategic emerging industries such as next-generation information technology, biotechnology, high-end equipment manufacturing, green environmental protection. China was the first country to contain the virus and reopen its economy soon after the outbreak of Covid-19. China’s GDP exceeded US$15 trillion and became the only major global economy that had achieved positive growth in 2020. In the first three quarters of this year, its GDP grew by 9.8% year-on-year, becoming an important engine driving global economic recovery.

In achieving a moderately prosperous society, China has created a new platform to boost international trade and investment. Currently, it is the largest trading partner of more than 50 countries and regions, and one of the top three trading partners of over 120 countries and regions. Supported by e-commerce, 21 free trade zones, and international trade platforms such as China International Import Expo (CIIE), China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), Canton Fair, China has become the world’s second largest consumer market and the largest trading country in goods. Last year when globalization faced headwinds, China was the largest recipient of foreign direct investment. In the first half of this year, China’s foreign capital inflows were 43% higher than the same period in 2019. It is estimated that China will import more than US$10 trillion in goods and its direct outbound investment will exceed US$550 billion in the next five years, which will certainly provide a strong impetus for the stable recovery and sustainable development of the global economy.

Liu Yantao is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Cyprus

Related Posts

China quietly increases purchases of low-priced Russian oil

CM Guest Columnist

The UK remains open to a negotiated Northern Ireland solution

CM Guest Columnist

Shanghai detects new infections after five days of ‘zero Covid’

Mountanaz (MNAZ), Convex Finance (CVX), UNUS SED LEO (LEO): 3 suggestions for investors

CM Guest Columnist

Can RoboApe (RBA) beat Shiba Inu (SHIB) in the race to reach $5 by 2050?

CM Guest Columnist