At a seminar in Beijing yesterday that was held to mark the role
of foreign capital in China's 10-year poverty reduction drive,
officials said China still seeks help in its efforts to improve the
living conditions of its poor despite remarkable achievements,
today's China Daily reported.
"We won't forget the active support of international
organizations and countries for China's poverty-reduction
undertakings, and NGOs and philanthropists who have helped in
China's poverty-relief achievements," said Liu Jian, chief of the
State Council's Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and
The government hopes to strengthen international cooperation to
cope with a range of new scenarios and problems in the fight
against destitution, said Liu.
Since 1995, the Foreign Capital Project Management Center has
overseen implementation of projects involving foreign funds of more
than US$800 million, center director Jiang Xiaohua said.
Between 1981 and 2002, loans from international financial
organizations for poverty relief in China approached US$8 billion,
according to China Daily.
Along with domestic efforts, foreign aid has helped reduce the
number of rural people living in abject poverty from 65 million in
1995 to 26.1 million in 2004, said Liu.
In addition to accelerating poverty relief in China,
foreign-funded projects have also brought new development concepts
and paved the way for sustainable development in targeted regions
through training and participation of poor people, said Jiang.
While international development organizations continue to
prioritize poverty eradication, support from rich countries to aid
poor ones has been declining despite a repeated commitment to
contribute 0.7 percent of their gross national product to
development assistance, said Jiang.
Meanwhile, he said, unfair global trade rules have enlarged the
Some foreign governments and international financial
organizations have readjusted their support strategies with regard
to China, which has sustained rapid economic growth amid increasing
global competitiveness, said Jiang.
"The reduction or discontinuation of favorable loans from
international organizations has added to the country's difficulty
in using foreign capital to relieve poverty," he said.
In addition to 26.1 million absolute poor, China has an even
greater number of transient poor, said Jemal-ud-din Kassum, vice
president for the World Bank's East Asia and the Pacific
The poor are increasingly concentrated in remote areas among the
most severely disadvantaged populations, said Sari Soderstrom,
another World Bank official, adding that close to 200 million
people still live below US$1 a day in some rural areas.
Along with the domestic efforts, Jiang said aid from the
international community remains crucial in resolving a chain of
fresh problems, including rural poverty and the plight of rural
In partnership with international organizations such as the
World Bank and Asian Development Bank, China will develop projects
to support agricultural and social development in central and
western parts of the country and the old northeastern industrial
bases, said Liang Ziqian, a Ministry of Finance division
(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2005)