Poverty Relief in China
Fréttablaðið Publishes a Signed Article by Ambassador Jin Zhijian
14 January 2021
Poverty eradication is a common task for mankind, and even more challenging for China as the biggest developing country with largest population in the world. When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, it was one of the countries with the highest poverty rate in the world. The rural population, which accounted for 87% of the country’s total population, was generally in extreme poverty. With unremitting efforts over the past 70 years, China has lifted 850 million people out of poverty with an annual record over 10 million since 2013. By 2020, all the impoverished rural population have been out of poverty according to the current poverty standard and China has achieved the Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty ten years ahead of schedule, contributing over 70 percent to the world’s poverty reduction. China has written a most brilliant chapter in human history with its successful story in poverty relief. Here are our main experience and practice:
First, advancing ceaselessly the cause of poverty-relief with great importance attached by the government. Eliminating poverty, improving people’s livelihood, and achieving common prosperity are important missions and goals of the Communist Party of China. The Chinese government attaches great importance to poverty relief and has prioritized it in its first centenary goal. China put forward a series of major plans in this regard with unremitting efforts. While promoting economic development, the Chinese government has provided constantly financial input on poverty relief. The Chinese central government spent 146.1 billion yuan (22.3 billion US dollars) on poverty relief in 2020, which provided a sound guarantee for poverty eradication.
Second, taking science-based and targeted poverty relief measures. China has a large poor population inhabited in a wide range of areas. The causes of poverty are different, making it difficult to reduce poverty. Proceeding from our national conditions, we creatively take targeted poverty reduction and elimination as the basic strategy. We have registered all impoverished households, organized vocational training, developed industries with local features, established a mechanism for ecological compensation, facilitated resettlement of poor residents to better-off areas, covered those who have partially or completely lost the ability to work by social security. With such tailor-made measures, we have maximized the effect of poverty relief.
Third, making concerted efforts in poverty relief with wide participation. We have done full justice to the strengths of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and coordinated all our efforts to complete key national undertakings. We mobilized all social sectors and resources to fight poverty with coordinated efforts of government, market and society. Provinces with better economic conditions are paired up with less developed ones. Targeted assistance is provided to those in need. “10,000 enterprises assisting 10,000 villages” campaign and the mechanism of stationing officials in villages to work on poverty relief has been introduced. By effectively integrating all resources, we have formed a trans-regional, trans-departmental, and trans-industrial poverty relief process to which all government agencies, companies, social organizations and individuals are forging synergies in achieving the same goal.
While advancing poverty alleviation at home, China has always provided assistance to other developing countries to the best of its capacity and contributed to the global poverty reduction. In the past 70 years, China provided financial aid of over 400 billion yuan to nearly 170 countries and international organizations and carried out over 5,000 assistance projects overseas, having dispatched more than 600,000 personnel, trained over 12 million from other developing countries and assisted over 120 developing countries to realize the Millennium Development Goals. China has set up the China-UN Peace and Development Fund and the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, and made solid progress in cooperation projects under such frameworks as the Pilot Project of Poverty Reduction Cooperation in East Asia and the China-Africa Poverty Reduction and People’s Welfare Plan. Warmly received by Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, the Belt and Road Initiative is expected to help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty. China has recently put together a selection of poverty reduction cases in the form of a book titled Eradication of Poverty: China’s Practices to share its experience with the world.
Global poverty alleviation efforts have scored huge progress, but the difficulties and challenges are still severe. With the strong impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global effort, international community needs to build a consensus and work together to uphold multilateralism, maintain peace and stability, as well as accelerate the process of international poverty reduction. China is committed to be an active advocate and important contributor to the cause of poverty relief, and stands ready to promote international cooperation so as to achieve common development of all countries and a better future shared by all.