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China aims for complete victory in poverty elimination

(Xinhua)    11:28, May 23, 2020

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Early in the morning, Migmur enters a workshop, sits down at a table and strikes the burin with a small hammer. With the "tink tonk tink tonk" sound reverberating, the image of auspicious clouds appears on a brown leather waist belt.

One of Migmur's legs was paralyzed in an accident when he worked at a construction site over a decade ago. The 38-year-old ethnic Ewenki herder in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is unable to raise livestock or toil in the field.

He participated in a training workshop on leather carving in a cultural industrial park funded by the local government. Last year, Migmur crafted 152 ethnic leather products, which brought him 23,200 yuan (around 3,267 U.S. dollars) and helped him cast off poverty.

"With traditional handicrafts, I can raise my family and have got rid of the mire of poverty," Migmur said.

The cultural industrial park provided traditional ethnic handicraft training for around 300 impoverished households last year, bringing them jobs as well as fortune.

The poverty-stricken population had been reduced to just 16,000 by the end of 2019 from 1.57 million in 2013 in the autonomous region, according to official statistics.

After having accomplished historic achievements in poverty reduction over the past seven years, China is in the final push to securing a decisive and complete victory in this regard, despite the COVID-19 impact.

President Xi Jinping has underscored firm confidence and concrete action in the country's final battle against absolute poverty.

In a recent instruction on the poverty elimination of the entire Maonan ethnic group, Xi also stressed that not a single ethnic group can be left behind in the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

At this year's annual two sessions, legislators and political advisors are expected to pool wisdom on how to realize the goal of poverty elimination while keeping those who have been lifted out of poverty from returning to poverty.

FISHING, NOT FISH

As morning sunshine beams down onto Yangling Village, 46-year-old Ma Junlin and his wife wake up and make their way to two barns housing a total of 12 cattle. Last month, Ma sold three cattle and earned 15,000 yuan.

Through raising cattle, the per capita income for Ma's family has increased to 10,000 yuan a year, and they live in a new brick house with a television, a refrigerator and other home appliances.

Like Ma, a native of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, many of his fellow villagers had shaken off poverty through raising cattle by the end of 2018.

Over the past four years, animal husbandry has become a pillar poverty alleviation industry for Ma's village thanks to the government's financial and technical support.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, the country has achieved significant progress in poverty reduction, with over 93 million rural people lifted out of poverty over seven years.

There were still 5.51 million impoverished people by the end of last year.

As a fundamental means to advancing poverty alleviation, industries have been fostered according to local conditions, playing a key role in consolidating poverty reduction achievements.

In Yunzhou District, Datong City in north China's Shanxi Province, growing daylilies -- a kind of edible flower and traditional Chinese medicine for soothing nerves -- has become a local pillar industry.

Impoverished counties in Shanxi have developed the planting of apples, potatoes and daylilies into industries to guarantee farmers stable jobs and incomes.

HOUSE, JOB AND HOPE

Sitting in her spacious new home in Ludian County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Zhan Wenhua said she was still terrified by the 5.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the neighboring Qiaojia County.

"I'm not sure if our old house in Qiaojia could have survived the earthquake. It's lucky that we had been relocated to Ludian before the disaster," the 48-year-old said.

Zhan's family used to live in a dilapidated adobe house in Qiaojia's Fala Village deep in the mountains. Last December, they moved to an apartment in a resettlement site in Ludian, thanks to a government-led poverty-relief relocation program.

"Life is much better now because I can look after my kids while working at home," she said. Zhan and her husband now work as cleaners at the resettlement site, each earning about 2,000 yuan a month.

The relocation of people like Zhan from inhospitable areas is another important approach to poverty reduction.

Earlier this month, 84 registered poor households living atop a cliff were relocated to the local county seat of Zhaojue in southwest China's Sichuan Province, embracing a new modern life.

A total of 18,000 impoverished residents from 92 villages moved to their new homes at the newly built community. It marked the near completion of poverty alleviation programs involving the relocation of 1.36 million people in Sichuan.

Across China, more than 9.6 million poor people have been relocated to more habitable areas over the past several years, getting access to more job opportunities and better public services.

Through precise measures, the pairing-up of aid, the fostering of industries, e-commerce and tourism, relocation and the dispatching of officials to poverty-stricken villages, China has achieved miraculous results in reducing poverty and is determined to eradicate absolute poverty this year despite challenges.

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

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