A Chinese expert predicted 55 percent Chinese households will have a yearly income over 60,000 yuan (8,0407 U.S. dollars) by 2020, the Beijing Morning Post reported in Beijing on Tuesday.
"As long as the per capita income of Chinese people remains at the current seven percent growth rate, 55 percent of Chinese households will have an income of over 60,000 yuan, after factoring in inflation, by 2020," said Zheng Xinli, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
"By 2020, over 78 percent of urban households will have an income above 60,000 yuan and 30 percent of rural households will have an income of more than 60,000 yuan," he was quoted by the paper as saying.
Zheng predicted that two percent of Chinese households will have an income of over 200,000 yuan.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, a middle-income household earns 60,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan a year.
"The middle-income people are the main force behind China's economic and social development and to increase the number of middle-income people is crucial to China's future development," he said.
With middle-income people making up the majority of Chinese people, the whole society will be more harmonious and stable, he said.
This fits with the ruling Communist Party's aims as outlined at last month's 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, held in Beijing. Chinese President Hu Jintao, in a keynote speech to the congress, outlined new requirements for attaining the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020. These included a reasonable and orderly pattern of income distribution which will be basically in place with middle-income people making up the majority of the population and absolute poverty basically eliminated.