Contrary to popular perceptions, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is clear about its aspirations. They openly communicate their long-term goals, visions, and plans to direct the actions of their cadres. The trick is to find the clues in their speeches, resolutions, reports, and directives and to have the necessary knowledge of Party history to fully understand them. 

In 1985, Deng Xiaoping inaugurated decades of rocketing growth with a single commandment: “To get rich is glorious.” The goal was to make China a “moderately prosperous society” defined as doubling the per-capita GDP to roughly $10,000 per year and housing 60 percent of the population in cities. To achieve that, Deng said, China had to “let some people get rich first.” The deadline was set to 2020. 

What followed was state capitalism with rapid economic liberalization and the growth of private enterprise. To everyone’s surprise, the poverty rate dropped from 60 percent to 10 percent. The goal of building a moderately prosperous society was declared accomplished in July 2021 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who stated, “We have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China. We are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all r