Moderately prosperous society

Moderately prosperous society (Chinese: 小康社会; pinyin: xiǎokāngshèhuì) is a Chinese term, originally of Confucianism, used to describe a society composed of a functional middle-class. The term is best known in recent years through its use by Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China between 2002 and 2012, when referring to economic policies intended to realize a more equal distribution of wealth.

In the usages (tifa) of current General Secretary Xi Jinping, the term "Chinese Dream" has gained somewhat greater prominence. During the annual National Party Congress meeting of 2015, Xi unveiled a set of political slogans called the Four Comprehensives, which include "Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society."[1]


It has been loosely translated as a "basically well-off" society in which the people are able to live relatively comfortably, albeit ordinarily. The term was first used in Classic of Poetry written as early as 3,000 years ago. Xiaokang may be associated with an Engel's coefficient of 40-50 percent.

Modern political discourse

Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping used the terms Xiaokang society in 1979 as the eventual goal of Chinese modernization.

The vision of a xiaokang society is one in which most people are moderately well off and middle class, and in which economic prosperity is sufficient to move most of the population in mainland China into comfortable means, but in which economic advancement is not the sole focus of society. Explicitly incorporated into the concept of a Xiaokang society is the idea that economic growth needs to be balanced with sometimes conflicting goals of social equality and environmental protection.

The current usage of the term also invokes Chinese philosophy in support of modern socialism with Chinese characteristics. In Chinese writings, a xiaokang society was the predecessor to the Great Unity. There is a rough correspondence between this progression and the progression in Chinese Marxism between a market socialist society and world communism.

The revival of the concept of a Xiaokang Society was in part a criticism of social trends in mainland China in the 1990s under Jiang Zemin, in which many in China felt was focusing too much on the newly rich and not enough on mainland China's rural poor. Furthermore, there has been a fear in some circles that Chinese society has become too materialistic placing material wealth above all other social needs.

In contrast to previous concepts such as the spiritual civilization and the campaigns against bourgeois liberalization in the 1980s, the concept of the Xiaokang society does not involve heroic self-sacrifice and does not place the material and the spiritual in opposition. The vision of a Xiaokang society sees the need for economic growth to provide prosperity, but it sees the need for this prosperity to be broadly distributed.

In addition, the concept of a Xiaokang society is the first time in which the Communist Party of China has used a classical Chinese concept to legitimize its vision for the future of China. Its recent use has been associated with Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao as a goal for mainland China to reach by the year 2020.

Xiaokang is also a name for a semi-monthly magazine that is affiliated to the Qiushi Magazine, the party-run magazine in Beijing. Started in 2004, it mainly focuses on the political and economic development in China. Referring to itself as "Insight China", Xiaokang defines itself as a magazine that voices public opinions and discuss the current affairs regarding the Chinese Politics and social cultures.

See also


  1. ^ "China's Xi Jinping unveils new 'four comprehensives' slogans" ([1]) BBC 25 February 2015
18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

The 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was elected by the 18th National Congress on 15 November 2012, and sat in plenary sessions until the communing of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017. It was formally proceeded by the 17th Central Committee.

The Committee is composed of full members and alternate members. A member has voting rights, while an alternate does not. If a full member is removed from the CC the vacancy is then filled by an alternate member at the next committee plenum — the alternate member who received the most confirmation votes in favour is highest on the order of precedence. To be elected to the Central Committee, a candidate must be a party member for at least five years.The first plenary session in 2012 was responsible for electing the bodies in which the authority of the Central Committee was invested when it was not in session: the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee. It was also responsible for approving the members of the Secretariat, Central Commission of Discipline Inspection and its Standing Committee. The second plenary session in March 2013 was responsible for nominating candidates for state positions.

The remaining plenary sessions of the 18th Central Committee were known for announcing a wide range of reform programs on a scale unprecedented since the Deng era, including "comprehensively deepening reforms", "ruling the country according to law", and complete the construction of a "moderately prosperous society". The 18th CC also saw the highest number of members expelled from the body due to corruption in the party's history.

The 18th CC was elected using the method "more candidates than seats". At the 18th National Congress, delegates could vote for 224 possible candidates for 205 seats for full membership, and 190 candidates for the 171 alternate members. 8.5 percent of the member candidates and 10 percent of the alternate candidates failed to be elected. Of the 373 full and alternate members, 184 of them (i.e., 48.9 percent) were elected to the Central Committee for the first time. Five of the nine members born in the 1960s were associated with the Communist Youth League (designated as Tuanpai by foreign commentators).Few offspring of previously high-standing officials (known as "princelings") managed to obtain full membership on the 18th CC, though a few were named alternate members. The number of members who worked in central-controlled state-owned enterprises increased from one in the 17th CC to six, while Zhang Ruimin (head of Haier) was re-elected. The number of members from the military remained constant from the previous committee at around 20 percent, continuing a longstanding tradition.

19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (commonly referred to as Shíjiǔ Dà; Chinese: 十九大) was held at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, between 18 and 24 October 2017. 2,280 delegates represented the party's estimated 89 million members. Preparations for the 19th National Congress began in 2016 and ended with a plenary session of the Central Committee a few days prior to the Congress. In 2016, local and provincial party organizations began electing delegates to the congress as well as receiving and amending party documents.

During the congress, a new guiding ideology, labelled Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, was written into the party's constitution. It marked the first time since Mao Zedong Thought that a living party leader has enshrined into the party constitution an ideology named after himself. The Congress also emphasized strengthening socialism with Chinese characteristics, party-building, and socialist rule of law, and setting concrete timelines for achieving development goals, such as building a moderately prosperous society and achieving "socialist modernization." It was also noted for rallying China to play a more substantial role internationally. The congress was also notable for the consolidation of power under Xi Jinping, marked by the removal of term limits from the Chinese constitution.

The 19th National Congress endorsed the membership list of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and elected the Central Committee, which in turn approved the members of the Politburo and its Standing Committee. Five members of the 18th Politburo Standing Committee left the body due to having reached retirement age, and five new members joined the 19th Standing Committee: Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, and Han Zheng.

Five-year plans of China

The Five-Year Plans (simplified Chinese: 五年计划; traditional Chinese: 五年計劃; pinyin: Wǔnián Jìhuà) are a series of social and economic development initiatives issued since 1953 in the People's Republic of China. Since 1949 the Communist Party of China has shaped the economy of China through the plenary sessions of the Central Committee and national congresses. The Party plays a leading role in establishing the foundations and principles of Chinese communism, mapping strategies for economic development, setting growth targets, and launching reforms.

Planning is a key characteristic of socialist economies, and one plan established for the entire country normally contains detailed economic development guidelines for all its regions. In order to more accurately reflect China's transition from a Soviet-style command economy to a socialist market economy (socialism with Chinese characteristics), the name of the 11th five-year program of 2006 to 2010 was changed to "guideline" (simplified Chinese: 规划; traditional Chinese: 規劃; pinyin: guīhuà) instead of "plan" (simplified Chinese: 计划; traditional Chinese: 計劃; pinyin: jìhuà).

Four Comprehensives

The Four Comprehensives, or the Four-pronged Comprehensive Strategy (Chinese: 四个全面战略布局) is a list of political goals for China, put forward by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in 2014. They are:

Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society

Comprehensively deepen reform

Comprehensively govern the nation according to law

Comprehensively strictly govern the Party.Some scholars argue that as a matter of fact, there are exactly the same or very similar statements of the “four comprehensives” in Deng Xiaoping Theory. Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society (Xiaokang society)

The term "moderately prosperous society" dated back to 1979, when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said to visiting Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ōhira that "Xiaokang society was the goal of Chinese modernization".In 1997, the term "building a moderately prosperous society" was officially adopted in General Secretary Jiang Zemin's report to the 15th CPC National Congress. In 2002, the term was changed to "comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society" in the report to the 16th CPC National Congress. In 2012, "Completing the Building of a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects" was first introduced in Hu Jintao's report to the 18th CPC National Congress.

Great Unity

The Great Unity (Chinese: 大同; pinyin: dàtóng) is a Chinese utopian vision of the world in which everyone and everything is at peace. It is found in classical Chinese philosophy which has been invoked many times in the modern history of China.

Harmonious Society

The Harmonious Society (Chinese: 和谐社会; pinyin: héxié shèhuì) has been a socioeconomic vision in China.

The concept of social harmony dates back to ancient China, to the time of Confucius. As a result, the philosophy has also been characterized as a form of New Confucianism. In modern times, it developed into a key feature of General Secretary Hu Jintao's signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept developed in the mid-2000s, being re-introduced by the Hu–Wen Administration during the 2005 National People's Congress.

The philosophy is recognized as a response to the increasing social injustice and inequality emerging in mainland Chinese society as a result of unchecked economic growth, which has led to social conflict. The governing philosophy was therefore shifted around economic growth to overall societal balance and harmony. Along with a moderately prosperous society, it was set to be one of the national goals for the ruling vanguard Communist Party.

The promotion of the "Harmonious Society" demonstrated that Hu Jintao's ruling philosophy had departed from that of his predecessors. Near the end of his tenure in 2011, Hu appeared to extend the ideology to an international dimension, with a focus on the international peace and cooperation, which is said to lead to a "harmonious world" whereas the administration of Hu's successor, Xi Jinping, has used the philosophy more sparingly, likely in favor of emphasizing his vision of the Chinese Dream.

New Confucianism

New Confucianism (Chinese: 新儒家; pinyin: xīn rú jiā; literally: 'new Confucianism') is an intellectual movement of Confucianism that began in the early 20th century in Republican China, and further developed in post-Mao era contemporary China. It is deeply influenced by, but not identical with, the neo-Confucianism of the Song and Ming dynasties. It is a neo-conservative movement of various Chinese traditions and has been regarded as containing religious overtones; it advocates for certain Confucianist elements of society – such social, ecological, and political harmony – to be applied in a contemporary context in synthesis with Western philosophies such as rationalism and humanism. Its philosophies have emerged as a focal point of discussion between Confucian scholars in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.

Serfdom in Tibet controversy

The serfdom in Tibet controversy rests on Chinese claims of moral authority for governing Tibet, portraying Tibet as a "feudal serfdom" and a "hell on earth" prior to its invasion in 1950. Claims of unfree labour practices have been a recurrent theme, covering periods both before and after the Chinese takeover. Supporters of the Chinese position highlight statements by the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) that, prior to 1959, 95% of Tibetans lived in "feudal serfdom", and cite cases of abuse and cruelty in the traditional Tibetan system. Some Western responses have tended to attempt to discredit the Chinese claims.

Small Is Beautiful

Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by German born British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase "Small Is Beautiful" came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr. It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as "bigger is better".

First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful brought Schumacher's critiques of Western economics to a wider audience during the 1973 energy crisis and emergence of globalization. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful among the 100 most influential books published since World War II. A further edition with commentaries was published in 1999.

Sufficiency economy

Sufficiency economy is the name of a Thai development approach attributed to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej's "sufficiency economy philosophy" (SEP). It has been elaborated upon by Thai academics and agencies, promoted by the Government of Thailand, and applied by over 23,000 villages in Thailand that have SEP-based projects in operation.

Targeted Poverty Alleviation

The concept of Targeted Poverty Alleviation (simplified Chinese: 精准扶贫; traditional Chinese:精準扶貧, pinyin: jīng zhǔn fú pín) was first raised by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. In November 2013, he paid an inspection visit to Xiangxi, Hunan province in central China.During his tour to Shibadong village in Xiangxi, Xi asked the local government to take measures to “keep track of every household and individual in poverty to verify that their treatment is having the desired effect."The Targeted Poverty Alleviation Strategy was officially adopted by the Chinese government in 2014. Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, said in his government report in March 2014, “local governments need to merge poverty alleviation resources….and take targeted measures to ensure that assistance reaches poverty-stricken villages and households.”

The Governance of China

The Governance of China is a Chinese political book in two volumes written by Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China and current president of the People's Republic of China. The first volume was published in 2014, and the second volume was published in 2017. The work is a collection of several dozen speeches and writings by Xi on a variety of topics, which present an official party line for China's development in the 21st century. In these respects, Governance of China is a literary successor to Mao Zedong's Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

Twelve Symbols national emblem

The Twelve Symbols national emblem (Chinese: 十二章國徽; pinyin: Shí'èr zhāng Guóhuī) was the state emblem of the Chinese Empire and the Chinese Republic from 1913 to 1928. It was based on the ancient Chinese symbols of the Twelve Ornaments.


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