Interview: Strong, committed government assures China's poverty alleviation success -- expert

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's success in poverty alleviation cannot be achieved without the "remarkable commitment" made by a "strong, command-down" government led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), a leading U.S. expert on China has said.

"China's poverty alleviation story is one of the great stories of the world. I believe future historians will look back to (it) as a defining feature of our age. Certainly, it is China's great achievement," Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Those who recognize China's unprecedented poverty-alleviation success must also "recognize its causal relationship" to China's system led by the CPC and a strong government, Kuhn said.

The expert believed that Chinese President Xi Jinping's leadership and commitment to poverty alleviation are one of the prime reasons for such an achievement.

It is a "remarkable commitment" that Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has made it clear that China cannot be a moderately prosperous society no matter how high China's national GDP per capita is, if any of its citizens continues to live in extreme poverty, Kuhn said.

"So you have the leadership of the country doing it, and then you have the party system and its organizational capacity, doing the implementation of the directives," he said.

The expert also said he was surprised by three things that are "critical" in terms of the CPC's implementation of poverty reduction goals.

One, every poor household -- tens of millions of people -- has its own dossier listing every family member; the dossier is updated monthly, he said.

Two, five levels of local Party secretaries -- provincial, municipal, county, township and village, are directly involved in coordinating and implementing poverty alleviation.

Three, young Party officials work directly with poor families and live two years in poor villages.

In Kuhn's view, there are some effective methods of poverty alleviation Chinese officials have employed, including creating sustainable micro-businesses, relocating villages, ecological compensation for those living in ecologically vulnerable areas and providing education, training and social security.

"While all political systems have trade-offs, without such robust authority of the CPC, it would not seem possible for China to reach its poverty-alleviation goals," Kuhn said. Enditem

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