Since China’s reform and opening up, the country’s impoverished population has dramatically reduced. Between 2013 to 2018, more than 80 million people in rural areas were lifted from below the poverty line; meanwhile, the country’s poverty incidence dropped from 10.2 percent to 1.7 percent, and 436 of its 832 counties previously suffering from extreme poverty had shaken off this misery.
How can a country that didn’t have enough food and clothing for its people 70 years ago, faced with a poverty incidence of as much as 97.5 percent at the end of 1978, become the world’s largest contributor to global poverty reduction?
Irreplaceable institutional advantages
China’s greatest political advantage is that under the leadership of the Communist Party, the socialist system enables us to concentrate our efforts on doing great things.
To reduce poverty, since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Party Central Committee and state organs have selected 1,727 cadres to help in this effort, and invested or introduced 71.4 billion yuan (about US $10 billion) in assistance funds.
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, from 2001 to 2010, the Central Government allocated over 144 billion yuan to poverty alleviation, while the Central Government has allocated 126.1 billion yuan in subsidies to local governments toward poverty alleviation in 2019.
Furthermore, institutional arrangements from the central to local levels play an indispensable role in optimizing the allocation of national resources. After 70 years of continuous efforts, especially since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China has formed a “three-in-one” poverty alleviation pattern featuring special poverty alleviation, industrial poverty alleviation and social poverty alleviation.
How does China’s poverty alleviation work? “We have a whole nation system that no country can learn from,” Guo Xiaoming, vice president of Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences summarized.
Poverty alleviation practices in line with local conditions
To promote development-oriented poverty relief and boost social and economic development, you first need to figure out the right approach, said Chinese President Xi Jinping, stressing that a plan should suit local conditions.
Luanping county, of Chengde city in north China’s Hebei province, is a key target for the poverty alleviation efforts of People’s Daily. In 2017, with the assistance of People’s Daily, a 60-megawatt photovoltaic power station project was started in Yuying village of Luanping county.
So far, the project has provided jobs for more than 200 people of Yuying village, with each worker earning an average of 150 to 200 yuan every day. At present, there is only one family in Yuying village that is still below the poverty line, and the poverty incidence in the village has dropped from 36.1 percent in 2014 to the current 0.2 percent.
This is a case typical of China, and can serve as a model for other developing countries in adjusting poverty alleviation measures to local conditions, said Devanand Ramiah, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in China.
Assistance from across the country
Southwest China’s Guizhou province, a battlefield of the country’s poverty alleviation campaign, is an important witness to the power of concerted efforts.
Since the beginning of this year, Guizhou has received the help of many cities across the country, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Dalian, according to Peng Jinbin, inspector of the Poverty Alleviation and Development Office of Guizhou Province. He explained that these cities have come to help Guizhou with a sense of responsibility, loving hearts, and money.
By July of this year, various cities had held 11 joint meetings at or above city level, carried out mutual visits involving 300 separate person trips, confirmed poverty alleviation-related planned financial assistance worth 2.7 billion yuan, and sent a total of 215 officials and 1,330 professionals and technicians to Guizhou to carry out poverty alleviation tasks.
As a Chinese saying goes, when people work with one mind, they can even remove Mount Taishan, such miracles created by joint efforts in Guizhou are happening across China.
Officials behind the poverty alleviation campaign
Today, 206,000 officials selected from all over the country serve as chiefs of Party committees in poor villages, with 700,000 officials living and working in villages, 1,974,000 officials in towns, and millions of local village leaders. They are on the front line of targeted poverty alleviation to ensure that assistance reaches poverty-stricken households.
Over the past seven decades, China has created a poverty elimination system with Chinese characteristics by establishing the basic strategy of targeted poverty alleviation and elimination. Its remarkable achievements in poverty reduction will figure prominently in the history of humanity’s fight against poverty.
By the end of this year, about 95 percent of those living below the current poverty threshold and over 90 percent of all impoverished counties are expected to be lifted out of poverty. With another year of hard work, absolute poverty in China will become a thing of the past. Global Times