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Pursuit of common prosperity reflects China's true character

By Rod P. Kapunan | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-09-14 08:09
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A family enjoys the ginkgo trees in downtown Beijing. [Photo by WEI XIAOHAO/CHINA DAILY]

Maybe the West deserves credit for recognizing the dynamic nature of society, but the East, particularly China, has gone beyond scrutinizing the dynamic nature of civilization by making innovations to society to be shared by all, on the basis that humans share the same planet, breathe the same air and share a common heritage and destiny.

In modern times, China's dynamism of society has benefited from the addition of the concept of socialism, which great philosophers consider to be inherent to man's consciousness of his environment. Specifically, socialism with Chinese characteristics measures what mankind has achieved and insists on sharing it for the common prosperity of all people.

This makes China's concept of socialism dynamic, innovative and obligated to pass on what humans have achieved. China's outlook on society, therefore, has compelled it to introduce changes.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics is geared toward achieving positive things, such as being committed to sharing the nation's achievements for the common prosperity of humanity.

The original path of the Communist Party of China was truly revolutionary because it allowed China to depart from the shackles of imperialism, colonialism and feudalism.

Today, the Party remains dynamic to achieve greater glory for the nation's society. This is the beauty of the dialectics of history. The Chinese revolution continues to have the same vigor and enthusiasm, and is always looking forward to achieving and sharing.

China's approach to socialism is not only evolutionary, but is also an inclusive and continuing process.

President Xi Jinping had said that the common prosperity that China pursues should by no means be understood as egalitarianism or robbing the rich to assist the poor, but instead as a dynamic process that promotes the fair distribution of the nation's wealth and ensures that channels and opportunities for upward mobility are more fairly distributed.

China knows that every society reaches its peak and eventually loses its momentum, and that laxity will allow inequality to be resurrected. China's innovation in socialism is a continuing process that is constantly improving and expanding, akin to the growth and changes to its economy and the sharing of an ever-bigger pie in a moderately prosperous society.

Theoretically, this explains why the gradual innovation of the system of socialism is typically Chinese and has proved to be far more durable than the Western model. It is distinctly Chinese in that its people take changes as inherently integral to their system.

The idea of common prosperity is to President Xi a wisdom that reflects the true character of the Chinese people. It is the opposite of the United States' policy of exceptionalism, which can only be implemented through the unilateralism characterized by the threat of arbitrariness and sanction.

Xi is correct in his observation that society is historically and biologically interdependent. Accepting this reality is to promote win-win cooperation, which is humankind's practical guide to peace and tranquillity.

US exceptionalism is the opposite of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence espoused by the late Chinese premier Zhou Enlai-principles to which China remains true to this day. This has brought friendship with countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and such friendships have expanded tremendously after the launching of the Belt and Road Initiative. China has cultivated friendship through peaceful trade and development.

This is a clear-cut difference between the approaches of China and the US. China's concept of common prosperity is implemented by taking the right step for what is mutually good. It is not altruism but a reasonable, win-win formula and is the greatest incentive for peace.

The greatest measurement of success is the Belt and Road. Today, a large number of countries are participating in the BRI, whose success lies is in its rightful interpretation of socialism.

The BRI is not laden with political rhetoric but is instead anchored on substance to achieve progress and development. The creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank has placed China well above the US and Western Europe in carrying on the development of international finance.

The author is a Manila-based political analyst and columnist with the Manila Standard.

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