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New poverty reduction approach benefits more (2)
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16:59, July 18, 2007

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Since the early 1990s, China has begun infrastructure projects in the central and western parts of China where economic development is lagging. These projects include the Beijing-Kowloon Railway, Nanjing-Kunming railway, water resource & hydropower engineering project of the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, and the Ningxia Yellow River Pumping Project.

The central government will invest approximately 21.6 billion Yuan into rural healthcare infrastructure construction this year, according to Liu.

In recent years, China''s poverty alleviation efforts have gained much attention from the international community. Many developing countries recognize China''s achievements in this area. International opinions hold that China, with a population of 1.3 billion, has made a great contribution to the world, helping many get out of poverty.

However, due to adverse natural conditions; China still has a long way to go in shaking off poverty. So far, more than 60 percent of the rural population and low-income families are living in western China. In some parts of the southwest and northwest, natural conditions are so severe that the places are uninhabitable. Additional factors behind poverty in western China are low levels of labor resource and a backward education, according to Liu.

"In order to aid the poor in severely backward areas, the Chinese government has helped millions of poor families move to cities," said Liu.

Lu stated that, in addition to the annual 3 billion Yuan pledged by the central government, local governments should also give support to the poor to meet their basic needs.

China has officially designated 148,000 villages as poor. They are home to some 80 percent of the country''s poor people, according to the State Council Office of Poverty Alleviation. The country is actively implementing a program, initiated in 2001, to alleviate poverty throughout entire villages. Lu also said that in four years, China will fundamentally change the impoverished appearance of those villages.

The State Council Office of Poverty Alleviation spent 700 million Yuan training farmers last year and rescued millions of farmers from poverty.

"During the eleventh five-year plan period, China will speed up the eradication of poverty, and transfer another 5 million rural residents to cities," said Liu.

By People's Daily Online
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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/6218664.pdf