Work together for a global community of shared future free from poverty |05 May 2021
On April 6, 2021, China issued a white paper titled ‘Poverty Alleviation: China’s Experience and Contribution’. Consisting of five main parts, the white paper gives a comprehensive review of the course of the Chinese people’s great fight in eliminating extreme poverty, especially since the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, introducing China's approach, and sharing its experience and actions in poverty alleviation.
(I) China’s journey and achievements in poverty alleviation
As the world's largest developing country with a population of 1.4 billion, China had long been plagued by poverty at a scale and a level of severity that has rarely been seen anywhere else in the world. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people in the battle against poverty with unwavering faith and will. On February 25, 2021, General Secretary Xi Jinping solemnly declared: “Victory in the battle against poverty is complete, and China completed the arduous task of eliminating extreme poverty.”
A set of data is as follows to illustrate this great and arduous journey.
● After 8 years of efforts, by the end of 2020 the 98.99 million people in rural areas who were living below the current poverty threshold all shook off poverty; all the 128,000 impoverished villages and 832 designated poor counties got rid of poverty.
● The per capita disposable income of the rural poor increased from RMB6,079 in 2013 to RMB12,588 in 2020, up by 11.6% per annum on average.
● Basic medical insurance coverage of the poor is over 99.9%. Some 19.36 million impoverished people have been covered by rural subsistence allowances or extreme poverty relief funds, and 60.98 million by basic pension schemes for rural and non-working urban residents, achieving nearly 100% coverage.
● Impoverished areas had gained 1.1 million km of reconstructed highways and 35,000 km of new railways. Over 98% of poor villages have access to optical fiber communications and 4G technology.
● A total of 10.21 million impoverished women have received skills training, over 5 million of whom have increased their incomes through activities such as handicrafts, crop and animal husbandry, housekeeping and e-business. Small-sum guaranteed loans and micro credit amounting to more than RMB450 billion have been provided to impoverished women.
Our complete victory over extreme poverty is an outstanding achievement in the history of both China and humanity. This great victory shows that the CPC has held fast to its original aspiration and mission to seek happiness for the Chinese people and national rejuvenation, and demonstrates its ability to lead. It has reinforced the Chinese nation's self-belief and its sense of pride, cohesiveness and affinity, given them trust in their ability to build a better life, and will continue to inspire our people to create a better future.
II What special measures has China taken to fight poverty?
The strategy of targeted poverty alleviation.In its poverty elimination effort, China has actively learned from international experience, fully considered its actual conditions, and launched a series of guidelines and measures to increase efficiency, summarized as accomplishing "Targeted Efforts in Six Areas"( includingefforts to identify the poor accurately and arrange targeted programs, etc.), taking "Five Measures for Poverty Eradication"(including boosting the economy to provide more job opportunities and relocating poor people from inhospitable areas, etc.), and addressing "Five Questions in Poverty Alleviation"（such as who should help, who should be helped and how to help, etc.）.
Of the “Five Measures”,poverty alleviation through economic development is the most direct and effective method, the fundamental way to give poor areas the capacity for independent development and help the poor find employment locally. With this in mind, China has supported and guided poor areas in developing economic activities geared to their available resources, and encouraged poverty alleviation through new forms of business and new industries such as e-commerce, photovoltaic (PV) power generation and tourism, and through the consumption of products and services from poor areas.With the growth of such specialty industries, poor areas have gained economic momentum.
China has also implemented many other forms of support for poverty alleviation that are consistent with local conditions. The government has redoubled its efforts to boost employment for the poor, through means such as offering free training on vocational skills, strengthening collaboration in the labor market between the eastern and western regions, supporting leading enterprises and workshops in poverty alleviation to create more jobs, encouraging entrepreneurial individuals to start businesses in their hometowns or villages, and creating public welfare jobs for the rest of the unemployed. Poor people who have the ability to work are encouraged to find employment locally or elsewhere, or start their own businesses. In 2015, 12.27 million poor laborers found employment; the figure had risen to 32.43 million in 2020.
The strategy of targeted poverty alleviation is China's strongest weapon in its final battle to secure victory against poverty, and a major innovation in the theory and practice of poverty alleviation.
Since Covid-19 struck in 2020, China has adopted a series of support measures, such as measures to stabilize employment and encourage consumption of products from poor areas, effectively minimizing the impact of the virus.
IIIWhat are the key factors and experienceofChina’s final victory in the fight eliminating poverty?
Bearing in mind its prevailing reality and understanding the nature of poverty and the status of poverty alleviation, China has embarked on a path of poverty alleviation and designed an approach with Chinese characteristics. In this approach, China has accumulated valuable experience, which offers enlightenment to the international community in its battle to reduce poverty.
1. People-centered philosophy. The CPC’s grand but simple goal is to ensure a happy life for the Chinese people. It has always followed a people-centered philosophy. It has borne in mind its founding mission to seek happiness for the Chinese people and national rejuvenation, and united and led the people in fighting poverty armed with firm convictions and a strong will. Taking public satisfaction as an important yardstick to judge the effectiveness of poverty elimination, the Party has concentrated its efforts on guaranteeing the basic needs of the poor, trying to ensure higher incomes and better education, healthcare, and living conditions for them.
2. Highlighting poverty alleviation in the governance of China. The CPC has always regarded poverty alleviation as an important task for ensuring national peace and stability. It has highlighted poverty alleviation at national level when setting its guidelines, principles and policies, and when formulating national plans for medium- and long-term development.It has strengthened top-level design and strategic planning. It has issued a series of policy documents setting specific aims, defining approaches and detailed measures, and carrying them out with consistent efforts.
3. Eradicating poverty through development. The root cause of poverty is inadequate development.China is aware that development is essential to solving many of its problems, including poverty. The CPC has always regarded this as the top priority in governing and rejuvenating the country.Since the founding of the PRC in 1949, and especially since the launch of reform and opening up in 1978, the country has witnessed rapid economic and social development. This has provided solid support for large-scale development-driven poverty alleviation effort.
4. Pressing ahead with poverty alleviation based on reality. China's poverty alleviation efforts are based on a realistic appraisal of the situation. China has set its poverty line and its poverty alleviation goals and strategies, and worked to create better ideas and methods based on its national conditions and stage of development, and on the changes in the demographics, distribution, and structure of the poor population. It has advanced this undertaking step by step and with a steady effort.
5. Letting the poor play the principal role. China fully respects the principal role of the poor and encourages them to play their part.The Poor benefit from success in the undertaking of poverty alleviation and at the same time contribute to development in China.China has inspired its people in poverty to strive for prosperity and provided them necessary education, so that they have the ambition to emerge from poverty and the tools to succeed.
6. Pooling all resources to create synergy. In the fight against poverty, the CPC has mobilized and pooled all possible forces. Various industries,social organizations and individual citizens have been encouraged to offer assistance with their professional advantages. Only when a country mobilizes all sectors of society to unite with common purpose and act in unison, can poverty be finally defeated.
Chinese people have created an approach to poverty alleviationand boosted the confidence of other countries, especially developing ones, in eradicating extreme poverty. They serve as reference for other countries to choose a suitable path of poverty alleviation.
IVWhat China’sefforts onpoverty alleviation mean to the World?
China is home to nearly one fifth of the world's population. Its complete eradication of extreme poverty – the first target of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 10 years ahead of schedule, has greatly accelerated global poverty alleviation, making an important contribution to the cause of global poverty alleviation.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently extended congratulations to President Xi on the occasion of the announcement of China's successful efforts in the fight against extreme poverty, saying 'This extraordinary result is a reason for hope and inspiration to the entire community of nations'.
To improve the wellbeing of all peoples, China has taken an active part in global poverty management, furthered exchanges and cooperation with other countries, and promoted a new model of international exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation, with mutual respect and mutually-beneficial cooperation at its core.
China has always provided assistance to other developing countries to the best of its capacity.China has launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to expand deep and high-level regional cooperation on economic and social development, and to help eligible countries better achieve poverty alleviation.In Africa, China has helped African countries build water conservancy infrastructure, vocational and technical schools, government-subsidized housing, and other facilities, etc.
The world today is experiencing a scale of change unseen in a century. The Covid-19 pandemic is still spreading around the world, and poverty, hunger and disease are undermining people's pursuit for a better life.China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Seychelles and other countries on governance including poverty reduction, support international poverty reduction, and make a greater contribution to building a global community of shared future that is free from poverty and blessed with common prosperity.