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Commentary: With Xiaokang victory in sight, China saddles up for socialist modernization

(Xinhua)    14:44, December 31, 2020

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- China has accomplished its poverty alleviation target for the new era on schedule, completing the foundational task and meeting the landmark target of building a Xiaokang society, rendered in English as a "moderately prosperous society in all respects," by the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

By achieving its first centenary goal within the set time frame, China will then turn to the second, entering a new stage of development to build a modern socialist country in an all-round way, as the CPC leadership has adopted proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan and long-range goals.

Building a Xiaokang society has, for decades, remained the Party's firm commitment to the people and to history. New interpretations of Xiaokang have emerged, a concept that took root over 2,500 years ago that represented ancient Chinese people's longing for a peaceful and happy life, as the Party deepens its understanding of the term and sets higher targets to meet people's growing demands for better lives, covering everything from material and cultural needs, democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, to security and a better environment.

The advent of a moderately prosperous China is about building better lives for the Chinese public. Over the past five years, China has lifted 55.75 million rural residents out of poverty and created more than 60 million new jobs in urban areas. The country has also built the world's largest social security system during the five-year period, with its basic medical insurance covering over 1.3 billion people and basic old-age insurance covering nearly 1 billion people. Chinese people have more money to spend, have become more educated and enjoy better medical services as well as an improving natural environment.

In 2020, against the backdrop of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and the sluggish world economy, the Chinese economy managed to achieve a V-shaped recovery and is expected to generate positive growth, the only one among major economies. With its gross domestic product (GDP) exceeding 100 trillion yuan (about 15 trillion U.S. dollars) and per capita GDP over 10,000 U.S. dollars, China's economic performance in this extraordinary year adds impetus to global economic recovery and growth.

As economic globalization rides into strong headwinds amid rising trade protectionism and isolationism worldwide, the challenges and pressure brought by external changes did not crush the Chinese economy but have rather boosted China's innovation and self-development. Meanwhile, China has sped up the country's reform and opening up and pushed forward high-quality growth. The Chinese economy has stood the test of the pandemic. The fundamentals sustaining sound and steady economic growth remain unchanged.

With a population of 1.4 billion and a middle-income group exceeding 400 million, an increasingly open China is the world's biggest and most promising consumer market as it boasts ultra-large domestic demand. Its solid material foundation accumulated in the past decades, rich human resources, well-developed industrial system and growing strength in sci-tech innovation have brought the world's second-largest economy the confidence and capability to guard against external risks and impacts.

China's socialist system boasts an institutional advantage of working under a nationwide framework with concentrated efforts and resources pooled for major projects. The decisive victory in building a Xiaokang society in all respects, which still requires a systematic assessment and review in the first half of 2021 before the official announcement of the achievement of moderate prosperity can be made, has laid a solid material foundation and provided a strong guarantee for embarking on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist China.

China is and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism, with the formidable tasks of implementing reform, achieving development and ensuring stability still ahead. The country still faces acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development, as well as the onerous tasks of consolidating and expanding poverty alleviation achievements, narrowing the urban-rural divide and improving social security and governance, among others. There is still a long way to go to lead the Chinese people to common prosperity.

China aims to achieve a set of social and economic objectives over the next five years. The country will take new steps in implementing its reform and opening up, further enhance its socialist market economy and basically complete the building of a high-standard market system, further improve social etiquette, make new progress in promoting ecological civilization, improve people's well-being and enhance governance capacity.

Modernization is a common goal for countries around the world, but it has different meanings at different times and differs from one country to another. There are no universally applicable standards or models. China has been striving for peaceful and harmonious coexistence, the ultimate ideal that unites all of humanity, and its modernization drive is of great importance to foster a community with a shared future for humanity based on exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations.

The modernization of China, where nearly a fifth of the total world population lives, is achieved through mutually beneficial cooperation and peaceful development, rather than at the cost of other countries' development. China has found a modernization path different from the Western model, offering an alternative approach for other developing countries.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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