China is among the few countries performing well overall on the indicators for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to a report of the United Nations launched in Beijing Thursday.
According to the United States Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Report 2003, China's HDI (Human Development Index) values 0.721 (on a scale from 0 to 1), classified as medium human development and ranking 104 out of 175 countries and regions. Hong Kong's HDI values 0.889, classified as high human development and ranking 26 out of 175 countries and regions.
The report said that in the 1990s China almost halved the proportion of people living in poverty. According to China's domestic standard, China saw a decrease from 33% to 18% living in poverty and 150 million people were lifted out of poverty during this period.
According to World Bank estimates based on consumption surveys, the proportion of people living on less than US$1 a day declined in China from 33% in 1990 to 16% in 2000.
Since 1996 China has rehabilitated 5 million hectares of low and medium-yield farm land and 84 to 94 percent of the population has access to essential drugs, the report said.
The government has managed to increase teacher salaries, teachers have fared well and China also enjoys a high enrollments.
According to the report, in nine years (1953-1962) China added 13 years to life expectancy at birth.
As indicated in the report, China's exceptional growth is partly explained by market-based reforms started in 1978. These reforms have enabled China to integrate with the global economy at a phenomenal pace.
At the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 in New York, the United Nations Millennium Declaration was adopted. All the participating UN member states pledged to achieve by 2015 the following goals: eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; universal primary education; gender equality and the empowerment of women; reduction of child mortality; improved maternal health; control of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; environmental sustainability; and a global partnership for development.
(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2003)