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China's 'Xitopia' faces off against the future of democracy

Neither may prevail, but Japan could provide clues to a solution

A slogan reading "Don't Forget the Communist Party if you pull out of poverty. Don't Forget President Xi if you become affluent" in Minning Town, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

BEIJING -- Friction over trade and security between the U.S. and China has now spilled into the realm of ideology such as democracy, freedom and human rights. Countries around the world -- whether democratic or autocratic -- face widening economic and social divides, Japan included. Which camp wins the ideological contest will be based on how well the different political and social systems deliver solutions while maintaining growth.

An agricultural village located deep in the interior of China offers a glimpse into China's gongtong fuyu, or common prosperity, an idea advocated by President Xi Jinping to eliminate the divides.

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