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Poorest to get a helping hand

Luo Wangshu and Xu Wei
Updated: Oct 30,2015 7:57 AM     China Daily

China is determined to lift more than 70million people and 592 impoverished counties in rural areas out of poverty by 2020, according to a statement released on Oct 29 following a four-day meeting of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The statement said that by 2020 the country will complete tackling regional poverty to build China into a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.

“It is a challenging goal,” said Xiang Deping, director of Wuhan University’s China Poverty Alleviation Development Academy.

“Because of historical, natural and environmental reasons, China has a large area of impoverished regions. It will not be easy to realize the commitment by 2020,” Xiang said.

However, Xiang said China has faith in facing the challenge.

“China’s anti-poverty achievements have been recognized by the world,” he said. “International organizations are promoting China’s experiences and are introducing some of China’s ideas to other developing countries,” Xiang said.

China has accumulated wealth in the past 30 years and now has the power to tackle poverty completely, the professor added.

President Xi Jinping reiterated the Chinese government’s determination to lift 70 million people above the poverty line by 2020 at the Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum in Beijing on Oct 16.

President Xi said the Chinese government will enact more policies to fulfill the goal and also engage in the global poverty alleviation plan.

By the end of last year, China still had 70.17million people in the countryside living below the country’s poverty line of 2,300 yuan ($376) in annual income by 2010 price standards.

Hong Tianyun, deputy director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, said the government will carry out measures such as improving financial policies and services to enable more impoverished farmers to obtain loans for business startups. China was the first developing country to meet the target set by the UN’s Millennium Development Goals program of halving the number of people living in poverty before 2015.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the UN welcomed Xi’s proposals and looked forward to further progress through partnership with China.

“It may be easier to eradicate poverty, but it is difficult to improve the education of people in a short time, which is at the root of reducing poverty,” Xiang said.

The proposal on Oct 29 also promoted gradually providing free vocational education to all students. The plan would first target students from low-income families.