All of China’s impoverished rural population has been lifted out of poverty under current standards, announced Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, after the last nine poverty-stricken counties in the southwestern province of Guizhou declared victory over poverty.
Following President Xi’s anti-poverty drive, the Chinese leadership set 2020 as the deadline to eradicate absolute poverty in the country, defined as living on an annual income below 4,000 yuan, or roughly $611.40.
About 100 million poor people have shaken off poverty during eight years of sustained work, Xi said in his congratulatory letter to a global forum that shares poverty alleviation experience.
“The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have always been devoted to the cause of letting the people lead a good life,” stressed Xi, who also serves as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
Xi：Battle against poverty a global challenge
Yet, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic still soars across the world, the battle against poverty remains a tough challenge, as Xi pointed out. “China is willing to work with other countries in the process of reducing poverty and to push for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said in the message.
According to data from the World Bank, China has lifted more than 850 million people from extreme poverty after the country’s economic reformation in 1978. Since 2013, an average of over 10 million people were lifted from deprivation after taking the approach of “targeted poverty alleviation,” which essentially means taking on tailored relief measures to fit different local conditions.
Abuluoha villagers in Butuo County of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, June 29, 2020. /Xinhua
“Every poor household, tens of millions, has its own dossier, listing every member; it is updated monthly, and information is sent to Beijing regularly,” wrote Robert Lawrence Kuhn in a CGTN opinion piece, after spending weeks in some of China’s poorest regions. And that has surprised this international corporate strategist and recipient of the China Reform Friendship Medal (2018).
Yet China’s strive in eradicating poverty has not been limited to the homeland.
In a recent meeting to honor the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN), Xi announced China’s new measures to augment the efforts of the UN in alleviating all forms of poverty. With more than 700 million people living in extreme poverty, representing 10 percent of the world’s population, eliminating poverty by 2030 tops the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
“In spite of the fact that the dynamics for poverty may differ from one country to the other, there are many lessons that can be drawn from the effective economic measures China has implemented in reducing poverty,” commented chartered economist Alexander Ayertey Odonkor.
“Developing countries can take a cue from China’s level of infrastructure development in urban and rural areas by addressing challenges associated with electrification, road networks, housing, water, and sanitation. Adopting a development-oriented approach in mitigating poverty has proven to be an indispensable tool,” he said.