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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Local govt brags of poverty

By He Dan  (China Daily)

09:40, February 01, 2012

CHANGSHA - The spokesman from the country's top poverty reduction authority on Tuesday blamed the "foolish behavior" of a county government in Central China's Hunan province for posting cheerful remarks about being named a State-level poverty-stricken area.

A picture posted online shows a huge screen with LED lights reading "Warm congratulations to Xinshao county for being successfully included in the country's poverty-stricken areas, which will become the main battlefield for the country's poverty alleviation work".

The remarks, which have circulated online and sparked heated debate, ended with "an announcement by the Xinshao county Party committee and Xinshao government".

The local government's website also regarded being named a State-level poverty-stricken county as a piece of "marvelous news", according to a screenshot on the People's Daily website on Tuesday.

Hong Tianyun, spokesman of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, told China Daily on Tuesday that such recognition is not meant as an honor, but to put responsibility on local governments where the economy is less developed and farmers' incomes lower than the national poverty threshold.

"We expect these governments to feel pressure and responsibility to help the people get rid of poverty and to boost local economic growth. Being called a poverty-stricken county is nothing worthy of pride," said Hong, who also heads the poverty alleviation office's policy and regulation division.

Xiao Kehan, a publicity official from the county government, told China Daily on Tuesday that both the poster and article have been "removed", admitting that the wordings were inappropriate.


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