By: Jianli Yang – Oct 08, 2021

Chinese President Xi Jinping has revived a decades-old term to refer to a key goal that China is now eager to achieve: “common prosperity.” Purportedly aimed at tackling the country’s growing income gap, the government is urging—in some cases, coercing—billionaires to share their wealth with the rest of society. The “common prosperity” slogan echoes back to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) long-standing ideology of wealth-sharing. Mao Zedong, founding father of the People’s Republic of China, introduced the phrase in the 1950s. Decades later, Chinese statesman Deng Xiaoping proposed that China should “let some people get rich first” but deemed “common prosperity” to be the ultimate goal.

Beijing’s stated objective is for China’s super-rich to spread their wealth among the less fortunate. A recent New York Times report notes that President Xi plans to pursue the “common prosperity” program zealously during his third term. Zhongnanhai has already been pressing cash-laden businesses and entrepreneurs to narrow the wealth gap by sharing their fortunes with the working class. The move coincides with China’s recent crackdown on Chinese billionaires, including Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

According to state-run Xinhua News Agency, “capital markets will no longer be a paradise for capitalists to get rich overnight.” In principle, the objective of achieving an equitable society is laudable; the program seeks to make schooling, housing, and healthcare more affordable and widely available across China. But it is undeniable that the government-imposed reversal of… [Continue Reading]