China's efforts to lift people out of poverty "unprecedented": Australian PM

10:03, April 24, 2010      

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China's transformation and efforts to lift millions of people out of poverty are " unprecedented", Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Friday.

Rudd said within 30 years, China has transformed itself into an increasingly global, wealthy, industrial and urban-centered economy and around 500 million people have been lifted out of poverty. "This is unprecedented."

"Nearly half of China's population now live in urban centers, including around 150 cities that number more than one million people." Rudd said, China now has more internet users and some 200 million bloggers. It has over 700 million mobile phone users. Over the past decade outbound Chinese tourist departures have grown five-fold to reach 47 million last year.

Rudd told audience at ANU later Friday in the 2010 Morrison Lecture "These figures tell of a nation in a period of great change...We have all been beneficiaries of China's remarkable performance."

He said after two decades of growth of around 10 percent per year, China is the world's largest exporter of manufactured goods, and the third largest exporter of all goods and services. It is also now the world's second-largest car market after the United States.

He also said China's economic performance gave drive to world economy. "This year, in the aftermath of the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression, China continues to be the principal engine of global economic recovery - a fact highlighted by the International Monetary Fund in recent days."

In the speech, he announced the establishment of the Australian Center on China in the World based in the Australian National University which will enhance the ANU's existing capabilities to create an integrated, world-leading institution for Chinese Studies.

He said the Center will be a hub for national and international scholars. It will also be linked virtually with other university centers with related expertise both at home and abroad. "We must seek to enhance understanding of China at all levels of Australian society," Rudd said.

Source: Xinhua


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