Solidarity is presumed to underpin the redistributive health and welfare systems in modern democracies; however, it is often considered a Western—or more specifically, European—concept. While health and welfare systems have been transplanted successfully to many non-Western developed countries, whether the solidarity necessary for such systems exists or is intellectually available remains under debate. Using an East Asian country with the Confucian tradition as an illustrative case, I first argue that the Confucian tradition has special theoretical and sociological importance for health and welfare solidarity. Then, through investigating the classic Confucian writings, I propose transformed interpretations of the essential concepts of Confucian thought, namely filial piety, benevolent governance and the mandate of heaven. With these interpretations, the differentiated family-based solidarity and the people-rooted thought in Confucianism could be reimagined to fit with the modern liberal-democratic political regime and welfare arrangements. I call this model Confucian welfarism, which I argue could form the intellectual origins of solidarity for people who believe in or have an affinity to Confucian ethos.