This article was written by John Ross, he is a professor at Renmin University. And published on China Daily Published on May 21 2015.
The first of the `Four Comprehensives` Xi Jinping has put forward, that China should become a `moderately prosperous society`, is a step towards the Chinese president`s definition of the country`s final goal: `the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the centenary of the CPC in 2021, and building China into a modern socialist country… by the centenary of the PRC in 2049, so as to realize the Chinese Dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.`
But China contains almost one fifth of humanity. It cannot be an `ordinary` country. Normal desires by China`s people have extraordinary global consequences. Achieving a `moderately prosperous society` necessarily transforms not only China but the world. Understanding this clarifies why the other three of Xi Jinping`s `four comprehensives` are required.
China`s development since 1949 is the single greatest economic and social achievement in human history. That is directly measurable in the number of people, the proportion of the world`s population, whose lives were improved.
Even before its 1978 economic reforms China had the world`s greatest social achievement. The most sensitive indicator of overall social conditions is life expectancy. In 27 years between the establishment of the People`s Republic of China and Mao Zedong`s death in 1976, China`s life expectancy increased by 31 years, or over a year per chronological year – the most rapid increase in a major country in history.
After 1978, China`s economic growth is the most rapid ever in a major country, but still more significant is the number of people it affected. When the US began rapid economic growth, in the late 19th century, it contained 3 percent of the world`s population. China in 1978 contained 22%. Never have the lives of such a large proportion of humanity been improved so rapidly as in China.
In 2015, by World Bank criteria, 18% of the world`s population live in `high income` economies – a level only slightly above China`s definition of `moderate prosperity,` and which China will achieve slightly after 2021. China is 19% of the world`s population. China will more than double the number living in high income economies.
For humanity`s general interests, China`s success is the greatest possible reason to celebrate. Any objective approach would hail China`s extraordinary achievements.
But for some people thinking not of humanity`s general interests, but their own privileges, China becoming `moderately prosperous` is their worst nightmare. US neo-cons in particular are not committed to equal `win-win` relations between countries but to what they term `US primacy`. To sustain this China`s economy must remain smaller than the US. But as China`s population is more than four times the US, this is a demand China should never achieve even one quarter of US living standards. China must never become `moderately prosperous` but must be poor.
But to fulfil the `moderately prosperous`goal is not a once-for-all progress; China will definitely face challenges both from home and abroad, especially from some people who don`t think of humanity`s general interests and commitment to equal `win-win` relations between countries.
Notwithstanding, implementing the `Four Comprehensives` will simultaneously move China towards `moderate prosperity`, while blocking activities aimed to prevent this.
The four comprehensives` emphasis on `party discipline` blocks the possibility of the self-made collapse of the leading party. The four comprehensives `rule of law` blocks arbitrary actions discrediting the Communist Party.
The third comprehensive`s `deepening reform` stresses, as Xi emphasized earlier this year, that people must directly `feel` beneficial effects of reform.
Carrying out the `Four Comprehensives` can ensure China achieves `moderate prosperity.`
Key Words： 罗思义 中国智库 人大重阳