China's Suc­cess­ful Ex­pe­ri­ence in Poverty Re­duc­tion

The core fac­tor in China’s suc­cess­ful poverty alle­vi­a­tion cam­paign has been a sound na­tional gov­er­nance struc­ture en­sur­ing in- depth pro­mo­tion of na­tional strate­gies, ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of na­tional poli­cies and rapid eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Zheng Feng­tian

China’s re­form and open­ing up orig­i­nated in ru­ral ar­eas with ad­just­ment of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween farm­ers and land. Be­fore 1978, hun­dreds of mil­lions of Chi­nese peo­ple were strug­gling to meet their ba­sic daily needs. Af­ter 40 years of de­vel­op­ment, more than 700 mil­lion peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas of China were lifted out of poverty. This not only laid a solid foun­da­tion for China to build a moder­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects, but also made great con­tri­bu­tions to poverty alle­vi­a­tion and de­vel­op­ment for all mankind.

In 1978, farm­ers from 18 house­holds in Xiao­gang Vil­lage of Fengyang County, An­hui Province took the lead in sign­ing a se­cret agree­ment to di­vide com­mu­nal farm­land into in­di­vid­ual plots, which in­ad­ver­tently gave birth to the house­hold re­spon­si­bil­ity sys­tem and lit the torch for China’s ru­ral re­form.

Ru­ral re­form laid a solid foun­da­tion for the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment in the next stage. From 1978 to 1985, the pro­found re­form of China’s ru­ral eco­nomic sys­tem pro­vided a strong im­pe­tus for un­con­ven­tional eco­nomic growth and dra­matic re­duc­tion of the poverty-stricken pop­u­la­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the stan­dards at that time, 50 per­cent of the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion in poverty met their ba­sic needs dur­ing this pe­riod.

From the 1980s to the 1990s, town­ship en­ter­prises de­vel­oped rapidly in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, which brought tremen­dous in­flu­ence to the de­vel­op­ment of China’s ru­ral ar­eas and greatly pro­moted the progress of na­tional poverty alle­vi­a­tion.

To elim­i­nate poverty, China pro­mul­gated and im­ple­mented the Seven-year Pri­or­ity Poverty Alle­vi­a­tion Pro­gram in 1994. Dur­ing the seven years, the cen­tral govern­ment in­vested 124 bil­lion yuan in poverty alle­vi­a­tion, and the ru­ral poverty-stricken pop­u­la­tion dropped from 80 mil­lion to 32 mil­lion.

To im­prove ba­sic pro­duc­tion and liv­ing con­di­tions and con­sol­i­date the achieve­ments of meet­ing ba­sic needs of peo­ple in poverty-stricken ar­eas, from 2001 to 2010, China’s poverty alle­vi­a­tion pol­icy nar­rowed its tar­get from county level to vil­lage level and im­ple­mented the strat­egy of de­vel­op­ing the whole vil­lage in­stead of in­di­vid­u­als.

In 2011, China launched the Out­line for De­vel­op­ment-ori­ented nted Poverty Alle­vi­a­tion for China’s Ru­ral ar­eas (2011-2020). A dozen en of con­tigu­ous poor ar­eas were des ig­nated as the main bat­tle­field for r poverty alle­vi­a­tion and de­velop--ment, and the poverty alle­vi­a­tion on stan­dard was raised by 92 per­cent. nt. Ac­cord­ing to the new stan­dard, by the end of 2012, the num­ber of peo­ple de­fined as liv­ing un­der er the poverty line had risen to 98.99 mil­lion.

Since the 18th Na­tional Congress gress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China na in 2012, China has com­pre­hen­sively ively deep­ened re­form in the field of poverty alle­vi­a­tion, in­no­vated ideas, deas, mea­sures and in­sti­tu­tional mech­a­nisms, and es­tab­lished the ba­sic strat­egy of tar­get poverty re­lief, op­ti­miz­ing achieve­ments in poverty verty alle­vi­a­tion in the coun­try to lev­els els never seen be­fore.

From 2013 to 2017, the poverty-stricken pop­u­la­tion in China’s ’s ru­ral ar­eas was re­duced from 98.99 8.99 mil­lion to 30.46 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing ding to the cur­rent poverty alle­vi­a­tion stan­dards, with av­er­age an­nual nual poverty re­duc­tion of 13.7 mil­lion on peo­ple. A solid step has been taken to solve over­all poverty in n ru­ral China.

Liv­ing stan­dards and qual­ity y have gen­er­ally im­proved in ru­ral al ar­eas of China, and even produ ction and liv­ing con­di­tions in the e poor­est ar­eas have seen tremen--dous changes. The rate of il­lit­er­acy acy and semi-il­lit­er­acy has con­tin­ued to de­cline, the com­ple­tion rate of com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion has as risen, and the qual­ity of the la­bor or force has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly. y. Fur­ther­more, due to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new ru­ral co­op­er­a­tive tive med­i­cal sys­tem and other sys­tems, ms, health­care con­di­tions and ser­vice ce ca­pa­bil­i­ties have con­tin­ued to

in­crease in ru­ral ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to the poverty alle­vi­a­tion stan­dard of per capita an­nual net in­come of 2,300 yuan, the poverty-stricken pop­u­la­tion in ru­ral China de­creased from 770 mil­lion in 1978 to about 30 mil­lion in 2017, with more than 700 mil­lion peo­ple lifted out of poverty.

Ac­cord­ing to the US$1.9 a day stan­dard that the World Bank uses for global poverty mon­i­tor­ing, the global poverty-stricken pop­u­la­tion de­creased by 1.1 bil­lion dur­ing the pe­riod from 1981 to 2012. In con­trast, the poverty-stricken pop­u­la­tion in China dropped by 790 mil­lion dur­ing the same pe­riod, ac­count­ing for 71.82 per­cent of the global num­ber. China cre­ated a mir­a­cle in global poverty re­duc­tion his­tory and con­trib­uted Chi­nese wis­dom and a Chi­nese ap­proach to global poverty alle­vi­a­tion un­der­tak­ings.

China’s sound na­tional gov­er­nance struc­ture has en­sured the in- depth pro­mo­tion of na­tional strate­gies, ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of na­tional poli­cies and rapid eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment, which has been a core fac­tor in China’s suc­cess­ful poverty re­duc­tion.

China con­sid­ers tar­geted poverty alle­vi­a­tion an im­por­tant mea­sure to tackle key prob­lems in poverty re­duc­tion work. It in­volves find­ing the root causes of poverty be­fore pre­scrib­ing a suit­able rem­edy and de­liv­er­ing tar­geted treat­ment.

The days of gen­eral poverty alle­vi­a­tion ef­forts have given way to a com­pound poverty alle­vi­a­tion gov­er­nance sys­tem. Led by the govern­ment and fo­cused on the poverty-stricken pop­u­la­tion as well as the grass­roots ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, it has at­tracted en­ter­prises, non- gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions and vol­un­teer groups to par­tic­i­pate in poverty re­duc­tion ef­forts, which ef­fec­tively pro­motes tar­geted poverty alle­vi­a­tion.

Since its re­form and open­ing up be­gan in the late 1970s, China’s econ­omy has main­tained high-speed growth for a long time. Along­side let­ting some peo­ple get rich first, the coun­try has also han­dled the is­sue of equity and de­vel­op­ment well by im­prov­ing the so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem and sub­si­diz­ing the poor with tools to es­cape poverty.

The au­thor is a re­search fel­low at the Bei­jing- based Re­search Cen­ter for Xi Jin­ping Thought on So­cial­ism with Chi­nese Char­ac­ter­is­tics for a New Era and a pro­fes­sor with the School of Agri­cul­tural Eco­nom­ics and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment at Ren­min Univer­sity of China.

March 23, 2018: Stu­dents of Bayi Pri­mary School head home af­ter class in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province. A decade ago, a dev­as­tat­ing 8.0 mag­ni­tude earth­quake rocked Sichuan Province, dec­i­mat­ing sev­eral coun­ties in­clud­ing Wenchuan and Be­ichuan. Af­ter ten years of re­con­struc­tion and poverty alle­vi­a­tion ef­forts, the quake-stricken ar­eas now have a new look. by Guo Shasha/cfb

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