Ad­vance poverty re­lief ef­fort, pres­i­dent urges

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - ByBy CAOCAO DESHENG in Bei­jing caodesh­eng@caodesh­eng@chi­nadaily.chi­nadaily.com.com.cn cn

LIFE, PAGE 14

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping called on Wed­nes­day for solid, re­dou­bled ef­forts in poverty al­le­vi­a­tion to win the crit­i­cal bat­tle of poverty re­duc­tion be­fore the end of 2020.

Xi, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, made the call in a writ­ten in­struc­tion for poverty re­duc­tion work as the coun­try ob­served the fifth an­nual Na­tional Poverty Re­lief Day on Wed­nes­day.

A con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day rec­og­nized peo­ple who made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions in poverty re­duc­tion around the coun­try. Xi’s in­struc­tion was con­veyed to par­tic­i­pants at the con­fer­ence.

Xi said 40 years of re­form and open­ing-up have seen con­sis­tent ef­forts in erad­i­cat­ing poverty as part of a grad­ual process.

More than 700 mil­lion peo­ple have been lifted out of poverty in the past four decades — a mir­a­cle in the his­tory of poverty re­duc­tion, Xi said. Ab­ject poverty that has ex­isted in the coun­try for thou­sands of years will be erad­i­cated, so the bat­tle against poverty is now at the tough­est stage, he added.

He called on gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to as­sume their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, take con­crete ac­tions and make united ef­forts to strive for win­ning the crit­i­cal bat­tle against poverty.

Since the 18th CPC Na­tional Congress, Xi has placed poverty re­duc­tion at the top of the list of ma­jor tasks as the Party vowed to build a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects by 2020.

The coun­try’s tar­get is that by 2020, all ru­ral res­i­dents liv­ing be­low the cur­rent poverty line will have been lifted out of poverty, and poverty will be elim­i­nated in all poor coun­ties and re­gions.

To achieve this end, China has adopted the strat­egy of tar­geted poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, pro­posed for the first time by Xi in Novem­ber 2013 dur­ing his visit to the vil­lage of Shibadong in Huayuan county, Hu­nan prov­ince. It was needed be­cause the pre­vi­ous, one-size-fits-all poverty re­lief pol­icy no longer worked when it came to the most-im­pov­er­ished fam­i­lies.

By the end of last year, the coun­try had 30.46 mil­lion peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas cat­e­go­rized as liv­ing be­low the poverty line, poverty re­lief of­fi­cials said.

In a sep­a­rate in­struc­tion, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang said tar­geted poverty re­duc­tion ef­forts must be strength­ened in align­ment with the ru­ral re­vi­tal­iza­tion strat­egy. That will en­sure the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion un­der the cur­rent poverty line can shake off poverty be­fore the end of 2020, he said.

The State Coun­cil Lead­ing Group Of­fice of Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment said on Wed­nes­day that another 85 coun­ties have been of­fi­cially taken off the coun­try’s list of im­pov­er­ished ar­eas, mark­ing fur­ther steps to­ward erad­i­cat­ing poverty by 2020.

In the past five years, more than 68 mil­lion peo­ple have been lifted out of poverty, in­clud­ing 8.3 mil­lion re­lo­cated from in­hos­pitable ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to this year’s Gov­ern­ment Work Re­port.

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