Chinese President Xi Jinping was installed for another entirely expected five-year term by the Communist Party Congress this week. And in the course of a three-plus hour speech to open the Congress, Xi said something that hasn’t gotten much notice here, but is all over the Chinese press: He wants to build a moderately prosperous society. Bearing in mind that China’s now the second-biggest economy in the world, and, as such, its fortunes are our fortunes, the idea of a “moderately” prosperous society doesn’t really sound like something to aspire to.
“Well actually, it may very well be,” said Jennifer Pak, our China correspondent, in an interview with host Kai Ryssdal. “You’ve heard of double-digit growth. Roughly, what that means is you have people who knew what it was like to be hungry. Now their kids [are] eating so much that obesity is a problem … So now China’s economy is slowing down. And if this happens too fast, the gap between the rich and the poor will only get bigger and bigger.”
Click the audio player above to hear the full story.