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China makes remarkable achievements in the fight against poverty

By Gu Zhongyang, Chang Qin (People's Daily)    09:11, October 17, 2019

70 women of Miao ethnic minority group from the Rongshui Miao Autonomous County of Liu Zhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region participate in a three-day embroidery training course on Oct. 15, 2019. Over 40 of them come from poverty-stricken families. (Liao Ziyuan/People’s Daily Online)

Peng Xiaying, a woman from east China’s Jiangxi province, has lifted her family out of poverty by seizing the business opportunities created by red tourism.

Peng runs a homestay in Shenshan village, Jinggangshan city, the birthplace of the Chinese revolution. During the National Day holiday from Oct. 1 to 7, Peng received groups of guests from around the country.

As usual, she cooked local food for the tourists and told them about the revolutionary stories passed down from her ancestors. The farmhouse business now brings the family an annual income of 100,000 yuan ($14,000).

"Thanks to the government's policy to help us develop countryside-flavor tourism, my family shook off poverty and is better off," said Peng.

Cao Zhihong, a farmer from Zhidan county in northwest China's Shaanxi province, started to bustle around in his orchard right after the National Day holiday.

With a yield of 22,500 kg, the 6,667-sqare-meter apple orchard brings him an income of over 80,000 yuan and has already lifted him out of poverty.

To eradicate poverty, improve people's living standards and achieve common prosperity among the people is an essential requirement of socialism.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has led the nation in combating poverty and established a new model of development-oriented poverty alleviation with Chinese characteristics that evolved from poverty alleviation relief to development-orientated poverty reduction and then to targeted poverty alleviation.

China’s anti-poverty efforts are unparalleled in terms of their intensity, scale and influence.

Thanks to the unremitting efforts of the whole country, decisive progress in poverty alleviation has been made after the 18th CPC National Congress held in November 2012.

The incidence of poverty dropped from 10.2 percent to 1.7 percent. 436 of China's 832 poverty-stricken counties and 102,000 of China’s 128,000 poor villages had been lifted out of poverty.

The GDP growth of impoverished counties is two percentage points higher than the national average, indicating strong economic development.

In 2018, the per capita disposable income for residents in poor areas reached 10,371 yuan, which was equivalent to 71 percent of the nation's average.

Poor areas have witnessed great changes. The traffic has improved and residents have easier access to clean water, medicine, schools, and etc.

By the end of 2019, around 95 percent of the population living below the current poverty threshold and over 90 percent of the impoverished counties will be lifted out of poverty, said Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Liu added that with continued effort through the next year, the country will wipe out extreme poverty in 2020.

Shibadong village in Huayuan county, central China's Hunan province has been lifted out of poverty by developing competitive industries and opening up new channels to increase income.

Now, the residents have become more prosperous as their income increased more than sixfold from five years ago.

Originating from here, targeted poverty alleviation spreads all over the country, becoming a basic strategy for China to win the war against poverty.

To carry out targeted poverty alleviation, about 800,000 cadres have been sent to the frontline on poverty-relief missions to identify poverty more accurately.

After registering impoverished households, the cadres will keep track of their conditions, and carry out adjustments in a timely manner. Under this scheme, the national accuracy of poverty recognition has exceeded 98 percent.

In addition, more than three million officials from the government organs above the county level as well as state-owned enterprises and institutions were designated to station in villages and help the poor population combat poverty on the spot.

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

The country intends to relocate 10 million poor people whose land doesn't provide subsistence to escape from poverty. Besides, it has helped 24.7 million people find jobs and provided better healthcare for 14.35 million impoverished people.

The country is very strict about the evaluation of poverty alleviation work. It has entrusted independent third parties to ask the aid recipients about the accuracy rate of poverty identification and of the removal of poor households off the poverty list, and the performance of the cadre working in the village.

This allows the public to help decide whether a poor household is actually lifted out of poverty based on statistics so that the achievements could withstand tests.

Targeted poverty alleviation has the advantage of helping the poor solve their real problems.

In the past 6 years, China lifted more than 12 million people out of poverty on a yearly basis, that is to say, nearly 30 people were lifted out of poverty within one minute. This altered the situation in the past in which the number of people lifted out of poverty decreased on a yearly basis after new poverty alleviation standards were established.

Targeted poverty reduction strategies are the only way to reach those farthest behind and achieve the ambitious targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. He believes China's experiences can provide valuable lessons to other developing countries.

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

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