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China creates miracle in poverty reduction

By Ping Zi, Du Yifei (People's Daily)    09:48, September 23, 2019

China has made remarkable achievements in poverty alleviation in the past 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

A woman feeds a cow in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 13, 2019. Many local villagers in Xinjiang have lifted themselves out of poverty through plantation and livestock breeding. (Xinhua/Ding Lei)

To be specific, a farmer named Shi Quanyou from Shibadong village, Huayuan county of central China’s Hunan Province has lifted his family out of poverty after running an agritainment farm; Hongfeng village, Huoshan county of eastern China’s Anhui Province is now earning 30,000 yuan ($4,200) per mu (667 square meters) of dendrobium after its people mastered the artificial cultivation technique of this herbal medicine.

Besides, 43 households of the Dong ethnic group in Malong village, Jianhe county of southwestern China’s Guizhou Province, have been relocated from inhospitable areas for poverty relief, and are now embracing a better life.

All above are miniatures of China’s poverty alleviation achievements.

Poverty was prevalent in rural China for a long time after the founding of the People's Republic of China. According to poverty criteria in China the proportion of rural population living below the poverty line was 97.5 percent at the end of 1978, or 770 million people.

Starting from the reform and opening-up in 1978, China adopted a series of medium-and long-term policies of poverty reduction, waging an unprecedented war against poverty in human history. As a result, the country saw a continuous growth of its rural residents’ income and a sharp decrease of the impoverished population.

According to statistics released by the World Bank, over the past 40 years, the number of people in China living below the international poverty line has dropped by more than 850 million - this represents 70 percent of the total world figure.

With the highest number of people moving out of poverty, China was the first developing country to realize the UN Millennium Development Goal for poverty reduction.

Especially since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in 2012, poverty alleviation has been put in a prominent place of state governance.

Over the last 6 years, China has lifted 82.39 million rural people, 80 percent of impoverished villages and over half of impoverished counties out of poverty, delivering the best performance ever in Chinese history of poverty reduction. The poverty rate of the country has dropped to 1.7 percent at the end of last year.

At present, China is fighting to eradicate absolute poverty. Implementing a basic strategy of taking targeted measures for poverty alleviation, a new round of poverty relief campaign will shift its focus from regions to individuals to make sure that the poverty issue is tackled from the root.

Working teams have been sent to villages for performing investigations, and 2.78 million stationing officials and 459,000 outstanding officials have been selected from all over the country and deployed to serve as first secretaries of the Party committees of poor villages.

Besides, the country is also fostering distinctive industries, advancing relocation, carrying out ecological restoration, strengthening education , improving social security, and taking targeted and differentiated measures to ensure that the impoverished receive assistance and measures are practically implemented.

In 2018, China offered huge assistance to impoverished regions and farmers in rearing animals, and also steadily promoted poverty alleviation projects through developing photovoltaic industry and e-commerce, gradually improving and enriching its poverty reduction mechanism.

By means of employment transfer, the country created employment opportunities for 2.59 million people in 2018. It established more than 30,000 poverty alleviation workshops, helping 770,000 registered impoverished people get employed in areas close to their home.

China further improved the conditions of disadvantaged compulsory education schools in poverty-stricken areas, with enhanced efforts to control the dropout rate.

The program to provide medical treatment to impoverished people with serious diseases in rural areas was expanded to cover 21 kinds of diseases and over 10 million poor people have received treatment. China has further reduced the ratio of self-paid health care costs for poor patients, and improved medical treatment conditions in poor areas.

In addition, more than 500,000 people living under China's poverty line have been employed as government-paid forest rangers through ecological poverty-relief programs.

So far, China has basically finished building a poverty alleviation mechanism with Chinese characteristics, with responsibility, policy and assessment systems being the frame of the top-level design.

Thanks to the targeted measures, the country’s impoverished regions are embracing historic and striding changes.

Farmers from impoverished regions saw their income grow at an annual speed of 12.1 percent in the past 6 years, higher than the national average. 99.5 percent of Chinese villages are now linked with hardened roads, and 96.5 percent have bus services. Besides, the improved access to drinking water and sanitation lavatories is also making the countryside more inhabitable. The per capita consumption in impoverished rural areas grew at an average annual rate of 11.4 percent in the past 6 years.

More and more impoverished people are shaking off poverty and embracing a new life.

Community health service is now available in 93.2 percent of natural villages in China, and 89.8 percent of rural households can find an elementary school nearby. Besides, 92 percent of impoverished households are developing industries with local features to get out of poverty.

What’s more, China’s poverty-reduction campaign has also ignited the passion of the impoverished people whose demand is not only to “be lifted out of poverty” but also to stay out of poverty. Such shift of mindset is building a powerful joint force to fight against poverty.

In the meantime, China’s poverty alleviation results are benefitting other countries and their peoples. China, with an aim to build a community with a shared future for mankind, is actively responding to the UN Millennium Development Goal and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is conducting broad international collaboration on poverty reduction.

Over the past 70 years, China provided financial aid of over 400 billion yuan to nearly 170 countries and international organizations and carried out over 5,000 assistance projects overseas, having dispatched more than 600,000 personnel, trained over 12 million from other developing countries and assisted over 120 developing countries to realize the Millennium Development Goal.

China plans to eliminate absolute poverty by 2020. The plan is not only a key step for the country to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, but also a significant and glorious cause in human history of poverty reduction. It is bound to further promote the global poverty alleviation. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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