China pursues development for people's well-being

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Applying a people-centered development philosophy, Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly highlighted people's well-being as a goal of the country's economic development.

The happiness and well-being of the people are the ultimate goals of promoting high-quality development, said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, during a deliberation Sunday at the ongoing session of the national legislature.

This echoed a report he delivered to the 20th CPC National Congress in October, in which he said, "We must protect the people's fundamental interests, improve their well-being, and work tirelessly to ensure that development is for the people and by the people and that its fruits are shared by the people."

Fruits of economic development

Serving as the bedrock for improving people's well-being, China's economy grew at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent during the past 10 years.

In 2022, the economy grew 3 percent year on year to a record high of 121 trillion yuan (about 18 trillion U.S. dollars). Its annual contribution to global economic growth averaged 38.6 percent during the 2013-2021 period.

Institutions believe China's economic growth is sustainable. The International Monetary Fund updated its World Economic Outlook earlier this year and projected that China's economy will grow by 5.2 percent in 2023, 0.8 percentage points higher than its forecast in October.

Over the past decade, China has won the largest battle against poverty in human history, lifting all impoverished counties and close to 100 million poor rural residents out of poverty.

"We have, once and for all, resolved the problem of absolute poverty in China, making significant contributions to the cause of global poverty reduction," said Xi in the report to the 20th CPC National Congress.

Stable employment

"Employment is the most basic component of the people's well-being," said Xi in the report.

While attending the deliberation on Sunday, Xi noted that efforts should be exerted in facilitating the employment of key groups, regulating the distribution of incomes, and improving the social security system and the services for elderly and underage groups.

The employment situation remained stable for those labor forces who escaped poverty, with 32.78 million of them enjoying full employment in 2022, 1.33 million more than the number for the previous year, official data showed.

Meanwhile, China's annual per capita disposable income of farmers in areas that had emerged from poverty grew 7.5 percent to 15,111 yuan, 1.2 percentage points faster than that of all farmers.

Over the past 10 years, a total of more than 130 million urban jobs were created in China.

Xi said in the report that "we will integrate the urban and rural employment policy systems, remove institutional and policy barriers that impede the flow of labor and talent, and eliminate unjustified restrictions and discrimination that undermine equal employment. In this way, we will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue a career through hard work."

Thanks to continued economic growth and stable employment, the Chinese people became more affluent. In 2022, per capita disposable income reached 36,883 yuan, up 5 percent year on year in nominal terms. China's per capita disposable annual income has more than doubled over the past decade.

Mild inflation, better lives

"We must strive to realize, safeguard, and advance the fundamental interests of all our people. To this end, we must do everything within our capacity to resolve the most practical problems that are of the greatest and most direct concern to the people," Xi has said.

While inflation is a serious cause for concern for many other major economies, China has kept its consumer price index (CPI) increase at 2 percent in 2022, a relatively low growth level globally.

To keep prices generally stable, China has ensured the effective implementation of a prudent monetary policy, refrained from a flood-like massive stimulus, and worked to stabilize production and supply.

The country has managed to keep the food and energy markets stable by beefing up supply. In 2022, China's grain output topped 686 billion kg, securing another bumper grain harvest despite extreme weather and COVID-19.

During this year's "two sessions," China unveiled its main projected targets for development for 2023, including GDP growth of around 5 percent, around 12 million new urban jobs, CPI increase of around 3 percent, and growth in personal income that is generally in step with economic growth.

During the deliberation Sunday, Xi said primary-level governance and ensuring people's well-being are crucial to the people's immediate interests, and are fundamental to advancing common prosperity and building high-quality lives.

Xi called on Party committees and governments at all levels to bear in mind these tasks and strive to accomplish them at all times, so as to yield concrete results. 

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