POVERTY On June 21, Vice Min­is­ter of the State Coun­cil Lead­ing Group Of­fice of Poverty Alle­vi­a­tion and Devel­op­ment, de­liv­ered a speech on China’s ef­forts in re­duc­ing poverty at the Africa-China High-Level Di­a­logue and Think Tank Fo­rum in Ad­dis Ababa, Ethi

Beijing Review - - Cover Story -

Erad­i­cat­ing poverty is a com­mon goal for hu­man be­ings, and a world­wide chal­lenge. The Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) and the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment have long at­tached great im­por­tance to poverty alle­vi­a­tion and devel­op­ment as well as been an ac­tive ad­vo­ca­tor and pow­er­ful pro­moter of the global cause of poverty re­duc­tion. Par­tic­u­larly, since re­form and open­ing up be­gan in the late 1970s, Chi­nese peo­ple have spared no ef­forts in the fight against poverty and re­al­ized his­toric achieve­ments.

China has been con­duct­ing large-scale, well-or­ga­nized and planned pro­grams on poverty alle­vi­a­tion and devel­op­ment since the mid-1980s. With the joint ef­forts of the en­tire Chi­nese so­ci­ety and sup­port from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, China has lifted 700 million peo­ple out of poverty and be­come the first de­vel­op­ing na­tion to re­al­ize the goal of erad­i­cat­ing ex­treme poverty and hunger un­der the UN’s Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals.

The Mil­len­nium Devel­op­ment Goals Re­port 2015 shows that the num­ber of cit­i­zens China has raised out of poverty ac­counts for 70 per­cent of the world’s to­tal, mak­ing it a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to ad­vanc­ing the goals.

Since the 18th Na­tional Congress of the CPC in 2012, the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment has made it clear that all poor ru­ral res­i­dents, as de­fined by the cur­rent pre­vail­ing stan­dard, should be lifted out of poverty by 2020. The prob­lem of re­gional poverty should also be solved. Win­ning the bat­tle against poverty and achiev­ing the goal of build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects is cur­rently at a crit­i­cal stage.

Over the past four years, with con­sis­tent ef­forts, about 55 million ru­ral poor res­i­dents were lifted out of poverty from 2013 to 2016. The tar­get of lift­ing 10 million peo­ple out of poverty an­nu­ally was ful­filled in four con­sec­u­tive years. The in­come growth rate of poor res­i­dents in ru­ral ar­eas was higher than the na­tional av­er­age, and the liveli­hoods of des­ti­tute house­holds were sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved.

In prac­tice, poverty alle­vi­a­tion ef­forts have been di­rected by the gov­ern­ment with di­verse par­tic­i­pants from dif­fer­ent re­gions, de­part­ments and pro­fes­sions pool­ing their ef­forts for a shared goal.

China has car­ried out tar­geted poverty alle­vi­a­tion. A to­tal of 320 cen­tral de­part­ments were as­signed to pair with 592 des­ti­tute coun­ties to help them shake off poverty. In ad­di­tion, 68 cen­trally ad­min­is­tered state-owned en­ter­prises as­sisted anti-poverty ef­forts in 108 im­pov­er­ished coun­ties in dis­ad­van­taged for­mer rev­o­lu­tion­ary base ar­eas, help­ing more than 10,000 poor vil­lages ad­dress wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and other in­fra­struc­ture prob­lems.

We also sup­ported con­certed ef­forts in poverty alle­vi­a­tion. A to­tal of 18 de­vel­oped provinces and cities in the east sup­ported 10 less de­vel­oped coun­ter­parts in the west by pro­vid­ing them with funds, skilled pro­fes­sion­als, in­no­va­tive ideas and busi­ness in­vest­ment. All sec­tors of so­ci­ety were en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in anti-poverty pro­grams.

In 2014, China set Oc­to­ber 17, the In­ter­na­tional Day for the Erad­i­ca­tion of Poverty, as China’s Poverty Alle­vi­a­tion Day with the aim of en­cour­ag­ing so­cial par­tic­i­pa­tion in the cause.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said help­ing peo­ple to live a bet­ter life is the orig­i­nal in­ten­tion and ul­ti­mate goal of our en­tire work. China has con­stantly ad­hered to the prin­ci­ples of de­pend­ing on the peo­ple, serv­ing the peo­ple, mak­ing the peo­ple share the re­sults of devel­op­ment and striv­ing for com­mon pros­per­ity. To this end, the Cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ments have been pri­or­i­tiz­ing is­sues con­cern­ing poor peo­ple’s liv­ing ne­ces­si­ties, com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion, ba­sic med­i­cal care and hous­ing.

Large-scale spe­cial pro­grams on poverty alle­vi­a­tion were launched and fa­vor­able poli­cies and fi­nan­cial sup­port were in­tro­duced. In 2016 alone, fi­nan­cial sup­port for poverty alle­vi­a­tion at the cen­tral and pro­vin­cial lev­els amounted to 100 bil­lion yuan ($15.09 bil­lion). Mi­cro-fi­nanc­ing credit for anti-poverty ef­forts was in­creased by 170.6 bil­lion yuan ($25.74 bil­lion). A to­tal of 8.02 million poor house­holds re­ceived small loans to­tal­ing 283.3 bil­lion yuan ($42.75 bil­lion). The poor pop­u­la­tion in spe­cific groups such as women, chil­dren and the el­derly has been taken as the fo­cus of poverty re­duc­tion, and the gov­ern­ment has in­creased sup­port for these groups in pol­icy pri­or­i­ties.

We have been mak­ing ef­forts to in­crease peo­ple’s de­sire and abil­ity to de­velop them­selves and to help them form a mind­set of self­de­pen­dence and shake off the shack­les of poverty and back­ward­ness with dili­gence and hard work.

We have been per­sis­tently tak­ing tar­geted poverty alle­vi­a­tion as the fun­da­men­tal tac­tic for poverty alle­vi­a­tion ef­forts. Pres­i­dent Xi stressed that a tar­geted ap­proach is vi­tal in fight­ing poverty, and it will de­ter­mine the suc­cess of the poverty alle­vi­a­tion drive. We have pro­posed such a tar­geted ap­proach at a time when China faces a daunt­ing chal­lenge in its ef­forts to elim­i­nate the fi­nal pock­ets of poverty across the na­tion.

Tar­geted mea­sures are im­ple­mented in terms of fund­ing, projects and re­cip­i­ents. Ev­ery im­pov­er­ished house­hold is guar­an­teed help,

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