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How China attained a moderate prosperous society

By People Daily
Thursday, July 30th, 2020
China-Africa trade. Photo/Courtesy

China has risen from a poor developing country to a major economic power house.

Embracing the spirit of Deng Xiaoping, the country’s vision to build a moderate prosperous society known as the ‘Xiao Kang society’ has been the guiding force and the foundation upon which her modernisation was laid upon. 

In today’s modern world, ‘Xiao Kang society’ can be explained and visually seen through China’s various economic, social, cultural, environmental, diplomatic and political achievements. 

For starters, since the reform and opening up policy in 1978, the country has seen accelerated economic development through adoption of socialism with Chinese characteristics, fighting corruption and misuse of resources and embracing both bilateral and multilateral economic policies and projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative.

Second, the Xiao Kang society has also been achieved by enhancing democracy through the precepts of Democratic Centralism.

Here, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has allowed its members to have free and open discussion, and at the same time adopts central control so as to keep political discipline in the ruling party.

This attribute is different from most political parties in Africa where members are not allowed to speak freely due to fear of reprehension. 

Third, China has prospered in protecting its rich culture, since it is a major tool for spreading soft power.

In this regard, China has managed to set up more than one hundred Confucius Institutes around the world where the Chinese language and culture is taught.

Fourth, for the world to achieve modernity, we need to have a harmonious society.

Thus, soft power is the indirect and non-military influence it has exerted on the global stage, with numerous economic and financial ties cultivated with more than half of the world’s countries.

Beijing has used diplomatic, cultural and educational tools to spread its soft power around the world.

China has tried to counter the concept of the Thucydides trap: that the rise of a new super-power must lead to a cataclysmic war with the old power.

This is why it is moving out of its own borders to ensure prosperity is realised in parts of Africa and the world. 

Fifth, China has become one of the most industrious countries in the world through advanced science and education with a key focus on research and development.

Further, through its poverty alleviation program, the country has managed to raise an estimated 800 million people out of poverty, and become the world’s largest manufacturer according to the United Nations.  

In his speech to the United Nations in Geneva, where he launched the idea of a “community of shared future for mankind”, President Xi made four value propositions to underpin ‘ecological civilisation’.

These include building a world of peace through dialogue and consultations; common security for all through joint efforts; common prosperity through win-win co-operation; an open and inclusive society through exchanges and mutual learning; and a clean and beautiful world through green and low-carbon development.

In summary, President Xi commitment is a clear indicator of China’s attainment of a “Xiao Kang society” and a clear evidence that having a vision is key, but having visionary leaders to execute the vision is the only source of attaining a modernized society where its people can have enough food, clothing, shelter, education and medical services, and live a well-off life. — The writer is a governance and foreign affairs consultant