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Commentary: Floods cannot hamper China's resolve in poverty alleviation

(Xinhua)    08:33, July 16, 2020

Villagers transport sandstone bags to a ship to help with flood control in Wangjiang County, east China's Anhui Province, July 14, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Junxi)

The government has pulled out all stops to reduce the loss of property and life as China is grappling with massive floods along the Yangtze River.

BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The recent flooding along the Yangtze River has caused great loss of property and human life, challenging China's economic recovery from the COVID-19 impact. But the disaster cannot stop the country's progress toward achieving the goal of eliminating absolute poverty as scheduled.

There have been worries that China could encounter disastrous flooding as it did in 1998, but statistics show water levels in major hydrological stations in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze are currently below those of that year.

Even though the rainfall in the Yangtze River basin has been 51 percent above normal, the possibility of months-long concentrated precipitation as in 1998 is not great this year, said Vice Minister of Emergency Management Zheng Guoguang at a press conference on Wednesday.

Photo taken on July 13, 2020 shows a pavilion submerged by the Yangtze River with rising water level in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

As China's flood control and disaster relief capability improves, the loss of property and life has significantly decreased compared to the same period in the past five years.

The country has more than 98,000 reservoirs, 110,000 hydrological stations and over 300,000 km of major levees to guard against floods. The detailed scheduling of water discharges from reservoirs, particularly the Three Gorges project, has been effective in controlling floods. China's flood forecasting and risk monitoring capabilities have also been strengthened, providing strong support for rescue and relief work.

Adopting concrete measures against the floods, the government is determined to keep people safe and away from the clutches of poverty.

Governments at all levels are strengthening supervision of the impact of flooding on poverty-stricken regions to prevent any local families from falling back into poverty.

Armed police officer Ma Paishan washes his face with a bottle of water in Poyang County, east China's Jiangxi Province, July 13, 2020. (Xinhua/Hu Chenhuan)

Rescuers and local government officials are evacuating and relocating flood-affected residents. Houses and roads are being repaired and rebuilt, drinking water ensured, and agricultural production resumed in a timely manner. The government is also providing new jobs and helping promote the sales of local products to increase farmers' income.

The effectiveness of these efforts stems from China's ability to pool all possible resources to address major problems, and its economy is resilient enough to withstand the shock of disasters.

China has overcome many hardships on its path to development. It has every reason to be confident that its mission to eradicate absolute poverty will not be derailed by floods or any other challenges that lie ahead. 

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

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