Moderately prosperous society (Chinese: 小康社会; pinyin:
xiǎokāngshèhuì) is a Chinese term, originally of Confucianism,
used to describe a society composed of a functional middle-class. The
term is best known in recent years through its use by Hu Jintao,
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China between 2002 and
2012, when referring to economic policies intended to realize a more
equal distribution of wealth.
In the usages (tifa) of current General Secretary Xi Jinping, the term
"China dream" or "Chinese dream" has gained somewhat greater
prominence. During the annual National Party Congress meeting of 2015,
Xi unveiled a set of political slogans called the Four Comprehensives,
which include "Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous
2 Modern political discourse
3 See also
It has been loosely translated as a "basically well-off" society in
which the people are able to live relatively comfortably, albeit
ordinarily. The term was first used in
Classic of Poetry
Classic of Poetry written as
early as 3,000 years ago. Xiaokang may be associated with an Engel's
coefficient of 40-50 percent.
Modern political discourse
Deng Xiaoping used the terms Xiaokang society in 1979
as the eventual goal of Chinese modernization.
The vision of a xiaokang society is one in which most people are
moderately well off and middle class, and in which economic prosperity
is sufficient to move most of the population in mainland China into
comfortable means, but in which economic advancement is not the sole
focus of society. Explicitly incorporated into the concept of a
Xiaokang society is the idea that economic growth needs to be balanced
with sometimes conflicting goals of social equality and environmental
The current usage of the term also invokes
Chinese philosophy in
support of modern socialism with Chinese characteristics. In Chinese
writings, a xiaokang society was the predecessor to the Great Unity.
There is a rough correspondence between this progression and the
progression in Chinese Marxism between a market socialist society and
world communism.
The revival of the concept of a Xiaokang Society was in part a
criticism of social trends in mainland China in the 1990s under Jiang
Zemin, in which many in China felt was focusing too much on the newly
rich and not enough on mainland China's rural poor. Furthermore, there
has been a fear in some circles that Chinese society has become too
materialistic placing material wealth above all other social needs.
In contrast to previous concepts such as the spiritual civilization
and the campaigns against bourgeois liberalization in the 1980s, the
concept of the Xiaokang society does not involve heroic self-sacrifice
and does not place the material and the spiritual in opposition. The
vision of a Xiaokang society sees the need for economic growth to
provide prosperity, but it sees the need for this prosperity to be
In addition, the concept of a Xiaokang society is the first time in
Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China has used a classical Chinese
concept to legitimize its vision for the future of China. Its recent
use has been associated with
Hu Jintao and
Wen Jiabao as a goal for
mainland China to reach by the year 2020.
Xiaokang is also a name for a semi-monthly magazine that is affiliated
Qiushi Magazine, the party-run magazine in Beijing. Started in
2004, it mainly focuses on the political and economic development in
China. Referred to itself as "Insight China", Xiaokang defines itself
as a magazine that voices public opinions and discuss the current
affairs regarding the Chinese Politics and social cultures.
Xi Jinping unveils new 'four comprehensives' slogans" ()