BEIJING, 25 Feb – RIA Novosti. President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping announced a complete victory over absolute poverty. With such a statement he made at a solemn meeting dedicated to the results of the fight against poverty.
How China managed to bring 770 million people out of poverty in 40 years, what methods were used by the Chinese authorities and why the pandemic did not prevent the achievement of the set goal – in the material of RIA Novosti.
Xi Jinping has repeatedly declared his willingness to “resolutely pursue victory over poverty,” and made the CCP a solemn promise that the poor and underdeveloped regions would join the “middle-prosperity society.” By 2020, the authorities intended to remove all rural districts from the list of the poor and to end total regional poverty.
According to Xi Jinping, this was achieved from 2012 to 2020. During this time, the entire poor population of rural areas – 98.99 million people and 128 thousand villages in 832 counties – were brought out of poverty. Dilapidated homes have been repaired for more than 25 million poor people, and approximately 9.6 million people have been relocated from poor areas.
Since the late 1970s, when the Chinese authorities proclaimed a policy of reform and opening up, 770 million people have crossed the poverty line.
Xi Jinping stressed that China has reached the UN goal of eradicating poverty 10 years earlier than the established 2030, and its contribution to the global fight against this phenomenon amounted to 70 percent.
According to Chinese state standards, those whose annual income does not exceed 2,300 yuan (about $ 340) are considered to be below the poverty line.
Secret of success
The Chinese government was able to achieve such impressive results thanks to the developed program and significant investments, Hu Binbin, head of the center for research of the culture of Chinese villages at the Central Southern University of China, told RIA Novosti.
According to him, in recent years, there has been a certain consensus in Chinese society that the government will significantly increase its investments in programs to combat poverty and improve living conditions in rural areas.
The amount of funds allocated for these social programs is increasing annually, in total for eight years, they amounted to approximately 246 billion dollars.
One of the important factors Hu Binbin said was the government's decision to create conditions for the development of the village: not only to provide benefits to the poor, but to ensure that, thanks to the new infrastructure, sources of income appear on the ground. Another important achievement of the state program, the expert considers the improvement of transport links in remote areas, and the third – the satisfaction of the private needs of the population, the provision of drinking water, an increase in per capita income.
Pandemic is not a hindrance
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic hit China's economy hard. However, the authorities managed to bring the epidemic under control, so that China became the only major world economy to show positive GDP growth in 2020.
Qiu Qiang, adviser to the International Center for Poverty Reduction, notes that the pandemic did not prevent the achievement of the poverty eradication goals, because this issue has been dealt with in China for more than 20 years. “We have been doing this for more than 20 years and could not be defeated by one pandemic. Moreover, in China, in rural areas, everyone has their own piece of land on which to sow. Therefore, food and land are not a problem in China, “the expert said on the air of CGTN TV channel.
According to him, the Chinese authorities have focused primarily on fighting poverty in rural areas, where extreme poverty is much more common than in cities. However, in the future, the urban poor will also have to be helped.
“In urban areas, people have a high income, and looking at these figures, you will say: is this person really poor? However, due to the high cost of living in urban areas, people have to overcome a lot of difficulties,” the expert noted.
He added that different approaches should be developed to help urban unemployed or disabled people in need.