Poverty Relief, a Long and Arduous Task in China

Since China implemented the reform and opening-up policies, the livelihood of Chinese farmers have improved by a big margin and hundreds of millions of poor people in China have shaken poverty, gotten enough food and clothing and embarked on the road leading to prosperity. As a result, China has basically fulfilled its promise of solving the problem of feeding and clothing the poor by the end of this century.

Yet, China still has a long way to go to eradicate poverty completely and narrow the income gap between rural and urban residents, as the country is a large-population country with a considerable proportion of rural residents, which account for a major part of the impoverished.

Director-General Zhu Zhixin of the National Bureau of Statistics made these remarks at a press conference yesterday. According to him, in 1978 the country had an impoverished population of 250 million, which decreased to 123 million in 1986. In 1993 the figure stood at 80 million, and 20 million last year. In the past seven years, China has reduced the destitution population from 8.8 percent to 3 percent.

Among the 20 million living below the poverty line, many are aged and disabled living in areas with poor infrastructure and facilities. This condition will last a certain period of time.

In addition, owing to various factors, there is a big income gap between the urban and rural areas. Yet, the country will leave no stone unturned to increase farmers’ income so as to achieve common prosperity in the near future.

Zhu said that in 2000, the net income of rural residents increased by 2.1 percent, slower than the previous two years. This year Chinese government will continue to put agriculture and increase of farmers’ income top on its agenda and continue concrete measures to upgrade agricultural development condition and improve infrastructure, which include harnessing major rivers and lakes, adjusting agricultural structure, intensifying the rural electricity network construction, and continuing its poverty relief program.

In China’s 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) to be discussed at the upcoming sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country will attach significance to the agriculture, which will help farmers escape poverty and increase income.

(CIIC by Guo Xiaohong 02/29/2001)

In This Series

China, IFAD Sign Loan Agreement Against Poverty

More Tibetan Herdsmen Shake off Poverty

Poorest Prefecture Eradicates Poverty

Government Aid to Help Poor

Eight Million Farmers out of Poverty

Advanced Technology to Ease Poverty

WFP Officials Inspects Poverty-Relief Projects

China Declares Elimination of Absolute Poverty

Small Loans Help Farmers Escape Poverty



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