Chinese premier confident of achieving MDGs as scheduled in China

11:01, September 23, 2010      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed confidence that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could be achieved as scheduled in China at a UN summit on Wednesday.

Addressing the UN high-level plenary meeting on MDGs, Wen said that China, an active and sustained supporter of the UN initiative, has made tireless efforts to reach the MDGs.

"We are convinced that the MDGs will be achieved as scheduled on the vast land of China," the Chinese premier said.

Since 1978, the number of Chinese living in absolute poverty has been lowered by over 200 million, accounting for 75 percent of the total population lifted out of poverty in developing countries, Wen said.

China has enhanced the institutional arrangements aimed at ensuring and improving people's well-being. We have extended the free nine-year compulsory education nationwide, introduced the rural cooperative medical care scheme for 800 million farmers, and launched the rural old-age insurance program on a trial basis, Wen said.

Great improvement has been made on issues concerning access of low-income groups to employment, housing and education, he added.

On the other hand, the government is keenly aware of the arduous tasks in developing the economy and improving people's livelihood, Wen said.

China, with its large population, weak economic foundation and imbalances with development, is not yet a rich country. Its per capita GDP ranks about 100th in the world, Wen noted, adding that by the Chinese government's standard, tens of millions of Chinese people are still below the poverty line.

The government is formulating the 12th five-year plan on economic and social development and the program on poverty alleviation through development for the new decade, both of which will lay greater emphasis on poverty alleviation, Wen said.

The MDGs, forged at a UN summit in 2000, include eight ambitious goals such as reducing extreme poverty in the world by half, cutting infant and maternal mortality, establishing universal primary education and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Source: Xinhua


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