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China calls for closer regional collaboration to fight poverty

Updated: Dec 7,2016 8:51 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China issued guidelines on Dec 7, calling for closer collaboration between its developed eastern regions and underdeveloped western regions in an effort to bridge the regional development gap and meet its target of eliminating poverty by 2020.

The country paired off some of its eastern and western regions to cooperate on poverty reduction, through governance, capital and talent assistance, according to the guidelines issued by the State Council.

The guidelines called on eastern provinces to increase financial support for western regions in poverty relief, while calling for recipient regions to increase the supervision of funding to ensure the money is wisely spent.

Favorable policies will be put in place to encourage enterprises, especially those in labor-intensive sectors, to invest in underdeveloped western regions, according to the guidelines.

They also called for eastern provinces to mobilize more talent in the fields of education, sanitation, technology and culture, to work in western regions.

China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty through more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global reduction in poverty.

Yet despite past achievements, the country’s fight against poverty remains tough. By the end of 2015, China had 55.75 million people living in poverty, equivalent to the entire population of a medium-sized country.