Home / News Type Content Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
China's Economics of Being Poor
Adjust font size:

Xinhua News Agency reported on October 9 that the UN's 2005 Human Development Report, released on September 7, said China provided a successful example of poverty reduction.


According to the UN report, since its reform and opening up began in 1978, China's per capita GDP has increased five times and the number of absolute poor has reduced by hundreds of millions.


It said that the number of people in poverty globally has increased from 1 billion to 1.3 billion in the past five years, with 750 million starving and more than 1 billion living without basic needs such as healthy drinking water. In China, however, in the first four years of its 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005), its population in poverty reduced by 1.5 million each year.


At the Global Conference on Poverty Reduction in May 2004, Asian Development Bank Vice President Geert van der Linden said, "Such a large country, with a population of 1.3 billion, has solved the poverty problem of so many people. The commitment of the country itself is a great contribution to poverty reduction in the world."


Theodore W. Schultz, American economist and Nobel Prize winner, said in a 1979 lecture titled The Economics of Being Poor that "most of the people in the world are poor, so if we knew the economics of being poor, we would know much of the economics that really matters. Most of the world's poor people earn their living from agriculture, so if we knew the economics of agriculture, we would know much of the economics of being poor."


Premier Wen Jiabao utilized Schultz's theory when talking about the Chinese economy at a news conference on the Third Session of the 10th National People's Congress held in March this year. He said that if we knew agriculture, we would know "The Economics of Being Poor," and that without the wellbeing of rural areas, there would not be wealth for the whole China.


The last batch of UN World Food Program relief wheat provided was shipped to Shenzhen in southern China on April 7, and Xinhua reported a representative from the program's China Office saying the Chinese government now had the ability to eliminate poverty.


Xinhua quoted Liu Jian, director of the State Council's Poverty Alleviation and Development Office, as saying that since 1978 the number of poor in China has fallen from 250 million to 26.1 million, 70 percent of the world's total reduction.


Agriculture Minister Du Qinglin told a conference in September that in the last 25 years, 20 percent of the increase in international agricultural production was generated in China, which now leads the world in production of grain, cotton, edible oil, vegetable, meat, poultry, eggs and aquatic products. Its annual grain output increased from 300 million to 500 million tons.


According to Xinhua, the government's special poverty relief fund increased from 1 billion in 13 billion yuan since 1980, totaling 115.58 billion yuan. In the 592 poorest counties, the average net income of farmers increased 23.9 percent between 2000 and 2004.


The UN Millennium Development Goals, set in 2000, said that by the year 2015 the number of the world's poor should be reduced to half that in 1990.


Gu Xiulan told the China Poverty Alleviation and Development Forum on October 18 that there were still 26.1 million Chinese people who lacked adequate food, clothing and shelter and only had an annual per capita income of below 668 yuan.


Gu added that nearly 50 million people are close to the poverty line, and still need support to ensure adequate food, clothing and shelter, so there is a long way to go for China in reducing poverty.


According to the 5th session of the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 8, the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period will be a critical time for China to build a wealthy society and the concept of "The Economics of Being Poor" would be key to this.


Vice Premier Hui Liangyu told the Global Conference on Poverty Reduction in May 2004 that by the year of 2010, China will have basically solved poverty problems and that all Chinese people will have adequate food, clothing and shelter.


Xinhua said the government is discussing a new cooperation mechanism with the World Food Program, using a donation of US$20 million to set up a "special fund of China poverty relief and regional cooperation" in order to support poverty reduction and regional cooperation in the Asian-Pacific region.


(China.org.cn by Xu Lin October 21, 2005)


Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- China's Poverty-stricken Population Down
- Number of Rural Poor Down in 2004
- Minister: 26.1Mln Chinese Still in Abject Poverty
- More Relief Planned for China's Poor
- State Councilor Urges Financial Aid for Poor Students
- Give the Poor a Helping Hand
- Vice Premier Attends Starting Ceremony of Poverty Alleviation Tour
- China Renews Tasks for Poverty Eradication
Most Viewed >>
- World's longest sea-spanning bridge to open
- Yao out for season with stress fracture in left foot
- 141 seriously polluting products blacklisted
- China starts excavation for world's first 3G nuclear plant
- Irresponsible remarks on Hu Jia case opposed 
- 'The China Riddle'
- China, US agree to step up constructive,cooperative relations
- FIT World Congress: translators on track
- Christianity popular in Tang Dynasty
- Factory fire kills 15, injures 3 in Shenzhen

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys