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China looks to boost middle class as it wraps up Xi Jinping’s anti-poverty drive

A critical mission for President Xi Jinping over the next 15 years is likely to be doubling the size of China’s “middle-income” group after Beijing reaches its goal of eliminating absolute poverty next summer, analysts say.

The Communist Party has not specified the target in its 2035 vision – vowing only to “significantly expand the middle income group” – but the message is clear among top policymakers: China must increase its middle class to avoid the middle income trap, where a developing country’s growth stagnates because of structural obstacles that impede development.

Boosting the number of middle-income earners would also help the government implement its new “dual circulation” economic strategy that focuses on developing the domestic market to offset external uncertainty.

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