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China’s poverty alleviation achievements over the past four years

Poverty alleviation has been one of China’s core campaigns since 2013, when President Xi Jinping set a target to fully eradicate poverty by 2020.

The goal was reiterated at the 19th CPC National Congress this year.

“We must ensure that by the year 2020, all rural residents living below the current poverty line have been lifted from that situation and that poverty is eliminated in all counties and regions. Poverty relief should reach those who truly need it and deliver genuine outcomes,” Xi said in the work report.

China currently has 830 villages officially categorized as “impoverished” and 43.35 million people still living below the nation’s minimal level of income. But the government has made achievements in lifting people out of poverty.

From 2013 through 2016, a total of 55.6 million people were lifted out of poverty — roughly 10 million people each year, stated figure from China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The Chinese government is ramping up on financial support for the campaign. Official data showed that last year, more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) was allotted from the central and provincial governments for people’s better well-being.

Meanwhile, China’s poverty alleviation program has also gained the support of the international community. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), for instance, has initiated several policy programs and pilot projects in different regions of China.

Chinese efforts in poverty alleviation have been applauded globally. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank commented highly on China’s efforts, noting that “the lessons we learned by working in China are very helpful to other middle income countries.”

“China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty since 1990, and we are always looking to reap for lessons from that kind of experience,” Kim said.

Mushahid Hussain, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor said that Chinese targeted poverty alleviation will be the most critical measures in eliminating China’s poverty in the near future. But there is still a long way to go, Shen Yiyang from Asia Development Bank told CGTN, “Simply increasing household income in poor regions is not enough. I think in the future, the gap between the life in city and rural area needs to be bridged. That calls for better policy and smarty policies.”