China resolved to win the last battle against poverty

By Rabi Sankar Bosu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 9, 2019
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Villagers show newly-picked blueberries at a blueberry planting farm in Gaolan village in Rongshui Miao autonomous county, south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, June 23, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Countries around the world have been facing the challenges of hunger, poverty and lack of education, so that shaking off poverty is seen as the most meaningful task for the whole of humanity in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. 

In this regard, modern China's four decades of determined efforts to eliminate poverty through various government welfare schemes have enabled 800 million people to escape the poverty trap.

This accounts for more than 76 percent of global poverty reduction and significantly made life better for its 1.3 billion-plus people while also shedding light on the means to alleviate poverty in other developing countries.

This incredible success was delivered by a combination of strong leadership, comprehensive policies, targeted measures, increased investment and incentives that form a "role model" for global poverty alleviation governance. 

Ana Revenga, senior director of Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank, has praised China for its "decisive progress," adding that, "If anyone could show the world how to do the last mile of ending extreme poverty, it is probably China."

The country is now aiming to become a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2021. 

China vowed to lift 10 million people out of poverty each year from 2016 to 2020 under the Second Ten-Year Poverty Reduction Program (2011-2020). Certainly, setting such a firm deadline for eradicating poverty is a bold move; but there is no doubt China will again be the frontrunner in reaching the UN's post-2015 Development Agenda.

Aerial photo taken on July 26, 2018 shows the greenhouses in Suyang village of Fu'an city, southeast China's Fujian province. Grape planting has become a pillar industry in Fu'an city to help villagers alleviate poverty. [Photo/Xinhua]

Since the critical stage of poverty alleviation got underway in 2015, it has lifted an average of more than 10 million people out of poverty every year. In recent years, an array of national plans for eliminating poverty has been prioritized in the agenda of the "Two Sessions" which are the annual meetings of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). 

This year, the two bodies are focused on how to accelerate the final battle against poverty.

On March 5, Premier Li Keqiang delivered the annual Government Work Report to nearly 3,000 legislators during the second annual session of the 13th NPC. While reviewing last year's achievements, Premier Li prioritized the anti-poverty actions to be taken in 2019. He highlighted the importance of harnessing positive energy for securing a decisive victory against poverty.

Li's report showed that rural residents living below the national poverty line dropped to 16.6 million as of the end of 2018, down by 13.86 million year-on-year. Thus, China now has less than 17 million rural people living in poverty, according to the national standard. 

To reach the 2020 target, Premier Li announced China would further reduce the rural poor population by over 10 million this year, including 2.8 million people to be relocated from inhospitable areas frequently hit by natural disasters, or areas with fragile ecology.

An aerial photo of a relocation place for villagers in Liupanshui city, southwest China's Guizhou province, Feb. 28, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

A total fund of US$18.82 billion has been earmarked for this purpose, and there is no doubt China is on the right course to win its battle against abject poverty by the target date.

There are various projects underway, including the Southwest Poverty Reduction Project, the Poor Rural Communities Development Project, the Guangxi Rural Poverty Alleviation Pilot Project, the Qinba Mountains Poverty Reduction Project, Inner Mongolia Poverty Reduction Project, the No.1 Central Document, the "Ten Thousand Enterprises Aid Ten Thousand Villages" campaign and the "Internet Plus" model, that have helped the rural impoverished population achieve a moderate per-capita income. 

On March 7, at a press conference during the ongoing NPC session, Liu Yongfu, head of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, said 2019 was an important year for winning the tough battle against poverty by 2020. 

In the past six years, China has lifted more than 80 million rural poor out of poverty, reducing the number so afflicted from 98.99 million at the end of 2012 to 16.6 million at the end of last year. 

Surely, China's remarkable progress has brought numerous benefits to not only Chinese people but also those in other countries. Truly, there is a lot the rest of the world can learn from China's experiences, including India.

Rabi Sankar Bosu, Secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club, West Bengal, India

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