Achieving success in achieving full prosperity? Data show China’s finances are supported by the South

At the recent July 1 Communist Party Centennial Conference, General Secretary Xi Jinping announced that China has achieved its first 100-year goal, “built a moderately prosperous society” on Chinese soil, and historically solved the problem of absolute poverty. Yet data show that only eight provincial-level units in China have fiscal surpluses, while the rest of the country still relies on central subsidies, and there is a serious “North-South disparity”, with southern provinces and cities contributing almost 80% of the country’s tax revenue.

With the release of economic data for 2020, it is worth noting that only 8 provinces and cities had fiscal surpluses, in the order of Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong and Fujian, while the remaining 23 provinces and cities all require central subsidies. Among the eight provinces and cities with surpluses, after deducting the central transfer, a total of 2782.054 billion yuan in net contributions to the central government, of which more than 80% came from the southern provinces and cities, only less than 20% came from the north, namely Beijing, Tianjin and Shandong.

If we calculate the net contribution per capita, Shanghai is the highest, with an average contribution of 22,046 yuan per person.

But the rest of the country’s 23 provinces and cities, the net contribution of tax revenue to the central government are negative. Taking Qinghai, Tibet, Ningxia and Gansu as examples, Qinghai paid 16.41 billion yuan in taxes to the central government, but the central transfer payment was 147.185 billion yuan, that is, the money reached out to the central government was almost nine times the amount of taxes paid; Tibet paid 21.776 billion yuan and reached out to take 202.177 billion yuan, almost nine times; Ningxia paid 26.644 billion yuan and reached out to take 98.472 Almost four times; Gansu contributed 72.33 billion yuan, reaching out to take 295.069 billion yuan, almost four times.

If calculated on a per capita basis, the central government gave Tibet a per capita subsidy of 49,400 yuan, topping the list.

These money, specifically used in what?