Chinese top leaders have called on the whole nation to intensify efforts in reducing poverty, stressing that it is a historic task for building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The China Association for Poverty Alleviation and Development (CAPAD) held its third congress in Beijing from May 27 to 28. Chinese President Hu Jintao and other top leaders have given important instructions on promoting poverty reduction nationwide.
President Hu stressed that poverty reduction and development is important for the building of a socialist harmonious society. Although remarkable achievements have been made in this regard, the task to be accomplished remains arduous.
Helping the people in poverty-stricken areas to get rich as soon as possible needs the joint efforts of the Party, government and all walks of life, he said.
Describing the CAPAD as a major force in poverty reduction, Hu urged the association to play an active role in services capital, technology and information services, training and transfer of labor forces in poverty-hit areas, and international exchanges and cooperation, so as to make great contribution to the country's poverty-reduction endeavor.
Wu Bangguo, China's top legislator, called on the whole society to show concern, support and participate in poverty alleviation.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said at the meeting that social enthusiasm and forces should be mobilized to promote the cause of poverty reduction.
The CPPCC is China's top advisory body and its members are elites from all social strata.
Jia encouraged the people from all walks of life, including members of all non-Communist parties, social and non-governmental organizations, and private companies, as well as volunteers, to contribute to the work.
He also called on united-front work departments and CPPCC organizations at all levels to help poverty-stricken areas get in capital, technology and talented professionals to promote poverty reduction.
The CAPAD, founded in 1993, is a national social organization under the poverty-reduction office of the State Council, China's cabinet.
In 1978, China had a poor-stricken population of 250 million, and the figure has declined to around 30 million today.
(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2005)