Anti-poverty ef­forts earn en­voys’ praise

Di­plo­mats from around globe visit ru­ral ar­eas, say re­sults speak for them­selves

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAO DESHENG and HU MEIDONG in Fuzhou Con­tact the writ­ers at caodesh­eng@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Moldovan Am­bas­sador to China Du­mitru Braghis has been watch­ing China’s devel­op­ment since he vis­ited the coun­try for the first time in the 1990s. He said China’s tremen­dous ef­forts in poverty erad­i­ca­tion have most im­pressed him among the eco­nomic mir­a­cles it has cre­ated.

Braghis vis­ited Ningde, a city known for its pi­o­neer­ing ef­forts in poverty al­le­vi­a­tion in Fu­jian prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day. He was among some 30 diplo­matic en­voys on a field trip or­ga­nized by the In­ter­na­tional Depart­ment of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

Braghis called it en­cour­ag­ing that China ex­pects to erad­i­cate poverty by year’s end, and the Chi­nese peo­ple and all of mankind should be proud of the achieve­ments.

China ob­serves its sev­enth Na­tional Poverty Re­lief Day on Satur­day, the same day as the In­ter­na­tional Day for the Erad­i­ca­tion of Poverty of the United Na­tions.

Over four decades, more than 700 mil­lion peo­ple have risen above the poverty thresh­old in China, rep­re­sent­ing 70 per­cent of global poverty re­duc­tion in that time. For the past seven straight years, more than 10 mil­lion peo­ple were helped out of poverty an­nu­ally. The na­tion’s im­pov­er­ished pop­u­la­tion fell from 98.99 mil­lion at the end of 2012 to 5.51 mil­lion at the end of 2019.

China’s achieve­ments in poverty elim­i­na­tion, which will stand the test of time, are re­flected in peo­ple’s lives and their sense of ful­fill­ment, ac­cord­ing to Braghis.

The coun­try aims to lift all poor peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas out of poverty by the end of this year de­spite the COVID-19 pan­demic. Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has pledged that China has the con­fi­dence and abil­ity to se­cure the full vic­tory in the crit­i­cal bat­tle against poverty, re­al­iz­ing the poverty erad­i­ca­tion goal of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment 10 years ahead of sched­ule.

Xi, who is also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, placed poverty re­duc­tion at the top of the list of ma­jor tasks as the Party vowed to build a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety by the cen­te­nary of its found­ing in 2021. In Xi’s view, if ru­ral China, par­tic­u­larly im­pov­er­ished ar­eas, is left be­hind, a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety will not emerge.

He pro­posed the idea of tar­geted poverty al­le­vi­a­tion in Novem­ber 2013 dur­ing an in­spec­tion tour in Hu­nan prov­ince as the pre­vi­ous “one size fits all” poverty re­lief pol­icy no longer worked when it came to the most im­pov­er­ished fam­i­lies. Un­der Xi’s lead­er­ship, Party mem­bers have been mo­bi­lized to go to eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged vil­lages and serve as first Party sec­re­taries to help vil­lagers shake off poverty.

Su­danese Am­bas­sador to China Ga­far Karar Ahmed said China’s achieve­ments in re­duc­ing poverty are un­prece­dented in hu­man his­tory. The strong lead­er­ship of the Party, hard work by the Chi­nese peo­ple and the tar­geted poverty al­le­vi­a­tion ap­proach have all contribute­d, he said.

The Su­danese diplo­mat said African coun­tries are keen to learn from China’s ex­pe­ri­ence in poverty re­duc­tion, eco­nomic growth and gov­er­nance. He sug­gested China es­tab­lish a gov­ern­men­tal body whose main task is to trans­fer its ex­per­tise in poverty al­le­vi­a­tion to poor coun­tries, in­clud­ing send­ing ex­perts and pro­vid­ing other as­sis­tance.

Mozam­bique’s am­bas­sador to China, Maria Gus­tava, who vis­ited Chixi, a for­merly poverty-stricken vil­lage in Ningde, said she is grate­ful for be­ing able to see what China has done in poverty al­le­vi­a­tion. “Only true friends can open doors to share the parts be­hind its suc­cess,” Gus­tava said.

“We are very im­pressed by what we saw in Chixi, where we can see the Party, to­gether with the com­mu­nity, work­ing hard to im­prove peo­ple’s lives, en­abling lo­cal peo­ple to take own­er­ship of their destiny,” she said.

The vil­lage’s suc­cess story as­sured her that, with de­ter­mi­na­tion and fo­cus on hard work and a com­mon vi­sion, it is pos­si­ble to cre­ate a bet­ter life for the peo­ple, Gus­tava said. Also, with a con­stant search for so­lu­tions, it is pos­si­ble to achieve sus­tain­able devel­op­ment, she added.

Given the pan­demic, Cyprus’ am­bas­sador to China, An­to­nis Toumazis, high­lighted the im­por­tance of devel­op­ment to all coun­tries.

Toumazis said that poverty is dif­fer­ent in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. China’s ex­pe­ri­ence in poverty re­duc­tion is im­pres­sive, but prob­a­bly can­not be copied di­rectly by other coun­tries, he said. How­ever, he added that in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in poverty erad­i­ca­tion is very im­por­tant.

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