Aerial photo taken on Jan. 8, 2022 shows a test bullet train running on the new Chengdu-Kunming railway in Dechang County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Xinhua/Jiang Hongjing)
BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese people have seen a substantial improvement in their wellbeing during the past decade, as President Xi Jinping has been championing a people-centered development philosophy to meet the people's ever-growing needs for a better life.
"Seeking happiness for Chinese people is the original aspiration for the Communist Party of China (CPC). We should never forget our original aspiration and always take the people's longing for a better life as our goal," Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, once said.
Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at its core, the country has taken concrete actions to fulfill this solemn commitment.
"We live in good times. Our life has become much better since the roads were built," said Li Yuhua, a farmer from Dulong ethnic group.
The Dulong people, residing in the mountains of southwest China's Yunnan Province, had long endured poverty and poor transportation to the outside world.
The completion of a major tunnel on the Dulongjiang River highway in 2014 enabled the Dulong people to have much easier access to the outside world. They shook off poverty four years later and have been enjoying a better life by developing e-commerce and specialized industries.
In addition to the Dulong people experiencing earth-shaking changes, about 100 million rural residents were lifted out of poverty in the past decade. The per capita disposable income of rural residents more than doubled to 18,931 yuan (about 2,976.6 U.S. dollars) in 2021, from the level in 2012.
China's job-first policy serves as another telling example of Xi's economic thought which lays great emphasis on people's wellbeing.
Although the unprecedented COVID-19 epidemic weighed down on the economy, the country intensified efforts to keep market entities afloat in a bid to maintain stable employment.
Local governments across the country have provided more incentives to stabilize and expand employment. Multiple channels have been tapped to ensure employment for key groups, and startups and innovation were encouraged so as to create jobs.
A total of 12.69 million urban jobs were added in 2021, an increase of 830,000 compared with 2020. The year-end surveyed urban unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent.
More remarkably, China has kept overall consumer prices stable amid COVID-19, with the consumer price index posting a mild growth of 0.9 percent in 2021, whereas some countries saw inflation surge to a new high in decades.
Guided by the people-centered philosophy, China has also been pushing for reforms in various areas of public concern, including housing, education, healthcare and social security.
Amid mounting global protectionism, China has been committed to widening opening-up and expanding imports, in a bid to meet people's growing needs for high-quality products and services.
Now that a complete victory over absolute poverty has been secured nationwide, the country starts a new mission of common prosperity.
"Common prosperity is the essential requirement of socialism and an important feature of Chinese modernization," Xi said.
Rather than "robbing the rich to help the poor" or pursuing egalitarianism, the phrase refers to affluence shared by everyone -- physically and intellectually.
To achieve the goal, the country should first "make a bigger and better cake" through joint efforts of the people, and then divide and distribute the cake properly through rational institutional arrangements, said Han Wenxiu, a senior official with the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs.
Throughout the years, the country has not only been taking the happiness of Chinese people to heart but also devoted to the peace and development of the whole world by building a community with a shared future for humanity. China also envisioned a world of common prosperity built through win-win cooperation.
"We must take a people-centered approach and make global development more equitable, effective and inclusive so that no country will be left behind," Xi said. ■