Common Prosperity is Different from ‘Welfarism’: Official

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via Global Times

A view of a job fair for college students in an exhibition center in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on October 10, 2021 Photo: cnsphoto

A view of a job fair for college students in an exhibition center in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province on October 10, 2021 Photo: cnsphoto

Common prosperity is not “lying flat,” and Chinese people must avoid falling into the trap of “welfarism ” raising lazy people, a government official said.

“We must ensure and improve people’s livelihoods on the basis of sustainable economic development and financial resources, and we must not be too ambitious, indulge our appetites or make promises that cannot be fulfilled,” Ha Zengyou, an official of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference on Thursday.

“To achieve the goal of common prosperity, we must first make the cake bigger and better through joint efforts. Only with everyone’s participation and efforts can we truly ensure that everyone can enjoy it,” Ha said.

So-called “doing within our capabilities” means clearly seeing that there is still a big gap between China and the developed countries, the official said.

At the conference, the government’s plan to develop East China’s Zhejiang Province into a demonstration zone for common prosperity was explained, which China’s central authorities in June of 2021 issued a guideline on it.

By 2025, Zhejiang should achieve solid progress in building the demonstration zone, with its per capita GDP reaching the level of moderately developed economies, while a social structure with a middle-income population as the majority should be phased in, the guideline said.

In 2021, the per capita GDP of Zhejiang Province reached 113,000 yuan ($17,825), and the income of urban and rural residents ranked first among Chinese provincial regions for 21 and 37 years, respectively, according to official data.

As for the targets for 2022, local officials said they will make efforts such as building a high-quality employment and entrepreneurship system, while continuing to optimize the environment for small and medium-sized enterprises’ owners and individual businesses.

College students who want to start businesses can get loans of 100,000-500,000 yuan. If the business fails, the government will compensate them for loans of less than 100,000 yuan, and compensate them for 80 percent of loans above 100,000 yuan, the officials said.

A key government meeting – the annual Central Economic Work Conference – in December mapped out China’s economic priorities in 2022, saying that the country should create and accumulate social wealth continuously, and at the same time avoid polarization.

To realize common prosperity, China should first “make a bigger and better cake” through the joint efforts of the people, and then divide and distribute the cake properly through rational institutional arrangements, the conference then said.

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