In the spring of 2022, the Yiba International Commodity City officially opened in Bazhong, Sichuan Province. This is a key cooperation project between Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, in east China and Bazhong in west China. Such cooperation is a microcosm of current efforts across the country to narrow regional gaps, urban-rural gaps, income gaps, and public service gaps, and promote common prosperity through high-quality development.
Yang Dian, a research fellow from the Institute of Sociology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said that common prosperity is a core feature of socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics.
To solve the regional disparities, income gaps, urban-rural discrepancies, and other issues on the way forward, we must rely on comprehensively deepening reforms and promoting high-quality development.
According to Li Xiaoyun, a professor from the College of Humanities and Development Studies at China Agricultural University, the biggest difficulty in realizing the goal of common prosperity lies in the countryside, and the biggest challenge is in narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas. Rural vitalization is an important part of China’s modernization process. Only by implementing the rural vitalization strategy and promoting urban-rural integration can we narrow the urban-rural gap in terms of income, social public services, and infrastructure construction.
“Rural prosperity without poverty” is the academic vision and goal of Tan Xuewen, a research fellow from the Rural Development Institute at CASS. Under the new development pattern, alleviating relative poverty is a necessary requirement for promoting common prosperity. To fulfill the goal of achieving more notable and substantive progress in promoting common prosperity for all by 2035, Tan suggested that China should formulate a new strategy for alleviating relative poverty. Adjustment and transformation based on international experience, and China’s national conditions, should follow the “three-pillar” strategy of inclusive growth, equitable access to basic public services, and basic social protection.
Xu Fei, executive vice president of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, noted that basic institutional arrangements for primary distribution, secondary distribution, and tertiary distribution should be constructed based on the principles of fairness and justice.
Evaluating and measuring the goal of common prosperity, from a theoretical perspective, is an urgent theoretical issue which must be answered. Based in western China, Jiang Yongmu, dean of the School of Economics at Sichuan University, and his research team have proposed an indicator evaluation system to solidly promote common prosperity, based on field research in rural areas.
The system consists of four indices. The index of people-oriented development reflects the development of the people themselves. The index of shared development reflects the reduction of urban-rural, regional, and income gaps. The development index reflects the degree of quality improvement in terms of economics, life, and ecology. The safety index indicates the construction of undertakings concerning social security and people’s livelihoods.
“On the road to common prosperity, no one should be left behind,” Yang said.