The Chinese government pledges to reduce and eradicate poverty, and accomplish common prosperity for all the people of the nation, which it says is its long-pursuing goal, according to the Policy Statement issued by the Chinese Government on Poverty Alleviation and Elimination in Shanghai Thursday.
The statement says that during the first 20 years of the 21st century, the Chinese government will exert its utmost to build a higher-level affluent society for its 1.3 billion people.
The government will do so on the basis of the development strategy that underscores human benefits and pursues the comprehensive, harmonious and sustainable growth, according to the statement.
The statement was made public during the Global Conference on Scaling Up Poverty Reduction Tuesday in Shanghai, which was convened to exchange poverty relief experience acquired by different countries and, with this sharing and learning from each other, to promote massive reduction and eradication of poverty.
The Chinese government and people have persevered in the fight against poverty, a hard yet historical mission, according to the statement. The Chinese economy and society have seen full-scale development and the living standards of Chinese people have been lifted dramatically over the past 25 years of the reform and opening drive.
During the period, the Chinese government made it a clear priority and implemented poverty relief work with a focus on rural areas, taking into account the majority of needy population in rural areas. As a result, the number of poor population dropped remarkably and rural needy could basically have access to adequate food and clothing.
This is of the landmark and far-reaching importance in China's history of development, and is significant to promote healthy growth of the national economy, social stability, unity between ethnic groups and frontier defense, according to the statement.
The statement, however, acknowledges that China remains a developing nation that is populous with wide disparities in development levels between regions, although its historical achievements in poverty relief have been highly appreciated by national and international communities.
Poverty is still pervasive in some areas, especially in inland mountainous areas, rocky mountain areas, deserts, frontier areas and some urban areas as well.
There were 85 million people in dire need in China's rural areas by the end of 2003, and 2,900 of them have no adequate food and clothing. In urban areas there are 22.35 million poor people who are living below the state's urban poverty line.
In the meantime, economic gaps have been expanding between urban and rural areas and between regions and between individuals, according to the statement.
The Chinese government will adopt more effective measures in a more determined manner to push the process of reducing and eradicating poverty on a full scale, according to the statement.
The government will fulfill this task with its newly orchestrated strategies of coordinating urban and rural development, coordinating development between different regions, coordinating social development and economic growth, coordinating human development with nature, and coordinating domestic development with the opening-up efforts.
(Xinhua News Agency May 27, 2004)