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China sails ahead on 2020 poverty-relief action plan

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

10-19-2015 17:31 BJT

By Tom McGregor, CNTV Commentator

Beijing launched its reform and opening up policy in 1978. Ever since, the national economy has enjoyed rapid expansion on account of pro-market reforms that work hand-in-hand with state-owned enterprises to lift over 700 million Chinese out of poverty - those who earn less than $1US dollar per day.

That's correct! 700 million people is nearly twice the population of the United States of America. As China has grown richer, the poor have benefited as well, reaping the rewards of the China Dream.

Last Saturday, the world celebrated ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty,’ along with China’s 2nd annual ‘National Poverty Relief Day,’ which was organized by the United Nations Development Program.

The UNDP had established Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), calling for countries to reduce their poverty population in half by 2015. China had already achieved its target, way ahead of schedule.

Challenges on the horizon

Despite achieving remarkable results, many Chinese rural communities continue to struggle with impoverished conditions, particularly in the Guizhou Zhuang Autonomous Region and the provinces of Henan, Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the recent ‘Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum’ held in Beijing that China will strive to eliminate all poverty in the nation by the year 2020. At the moment, more than 70 million Chinese are earning less than 2,300 RMB annually.

Only 12.32 million Chinese had escaped poverty last year as compared to 43.29 million in 2011, according the National Bureau of Statistics.

"If there are no special initiatives, it will be extremely difficult to achieve this (national poverty eradication) mission," the Times of India quotes Hong Tianyun, deputy director of the China State Council, leading group office of poverty alleviation and development of China, as saying.

Building out of poverty

The poor in China do worry about their predicament, but they maintain a positive attitude to secure greater financial security through jobs. They seek work opportunities, not handouts and that's what makes the national economy resilient.

Beijing recognizes the industrious spirit of its citizens and has embarked on massive jobs stimulus programs, while strengthening its education system and opening up more vocational technical training schools in the rural areas. Accordingly, transportation and energy infrastructure projects are very significant for the nation.

"These projects have a huge demand for labor, equipment and raw materials," Jiao Yong, vice minister of China's Water Resources, told ECNS (English China News Service).  "This will significantly drive upstream and downstream industries."

Meanwhile, China Railways Corp., a state-owned operator and contractor, had invested 265.13bn RMB in railway construction for the first half of this year, with projects mainly in central and western China.

China-Africa partnership

China has stood at the forefront of poverty alleviation, shining a beacon of light for Africans. China-Africa cooperation deals have helped the continent overcome widespread poverty.

Beijing strongly supports South-South Cooperation, led by the UNDP. The initiative focuses on the building of "productive capacity and infrastructure that can boost trade and economic activities" in Africa.

President Xi has pledged $US2 billion to fund South-South Cooperation and made the announcement when he delivered a keynote address at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York last month.

"China has become a symbol of what developing countries can achieve," Tesfachew Taffere, UNCTAD director for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programs, told AllAfrica News.

Glimmer of Hope

Escaping poverty remains a struggle for over 70 million people living in China, but they are confident that the economy would offer them better opportunities. With a spirit of optimism, those still poverty-stricken can overcome and succeed.



( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.




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