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China's push for common prosperity does not mean 'killing the rich': Communist Party official

China's push for common prosperity does not mean 'killing the rich': Communist Party official

A view of the city skyline from the Shanghai Financial Center building, Oct 25, 2011. (File photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria)

BEIJING: China's push for "common prosperity", as President Xi Jinping aims to decrease inequality in the world's second-largest economy, does not mean "killing the rich to help the poor", a ruling Communist Party official said on Thursday (Aug 26).

China must also "guard against falling into the trap of welfarism", Han Wenxiu, an official at the central financial and economic affairs commission, said at a briefing in Beijing.

Those who "get rich first" should help those behind, but hard work should be encouraged, he said.

"We cannot wait for help, rely on others for help, or beg for help. We cannot support layabouts."

China has said it will protect legal income but "rationally adjust excessively high" incomes, according to a meeting chaired by President Xi earlier this month. High income groups and firms are also being encouraged to contribute more to society. 

Charitable giving should be incentivised through taxation policy and can improve the "distribution structure", Han said. Donations are "not compulsory", he added.

The policy shift comes amid rising scrutiny and regulatory crackdowns directed toward big business, particularly China's giant tech firms.

Investors believe a major shift is under way in China as the government aggressively pursues reform aimed at cutting cost-of-living pressures at the expense of businesses.

Recent policies to rectify and regulate Internet platforms are aimed at irregularities and illegal behaviour, and are "absolutely" not aimed at private companies or foreign companies, stressed Han.

Source: Reuters/ng

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