Full text: China's Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights (2)

The UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 shows that the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in China fell by half from 61 percent in 1990 to below 30 percent in 2002, and on down to 4.2 percent in 2014. The number of citizens China has raised from poverty accounts for 70 percent of the world's total. With the most people lifted out of poverty, China has led other countries to realize the UN Millennium Development Goal and made an enormous contribution to poverty reduction worldwide. Its endeavors have been widely hailed by the international community and its achievements will go down in history. Such achievements forcefully demonstrate the brilliant leadership of the CPC and the advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Chart: Poverty levels in China's rural areas according to the current rural poverty standard

While combating poverty at home, China also actively helps other developing countries to address their poverty problems. Over more than six decades since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China has provided nearly RMB400 billion to 166 countries and international organizations, sent more than 600,000 aid workers, given medical assistance to 69 countries, and aided more than 120 developing countries in realizing the Millennium Goals. On seven occasions China has unconditionally canceled interest-free loans to heavily indebted countries and least developed countries.

After years of trials and experimentation, China has accumulated a wealth of experience in promoting human rights through development- oriented poverty reduction, and established a new model of development- oriented poverty alleviation with Chinese characteristics.

-- Proceeding from the prevailing national conditions and exploiting its institutional advantages. China is the world's largest developing country with more than 1.3 billion people. Development is the paramount task of the CPC in governing and rejuvenating China, which is essential to addressing the country's existing problems. By exploiting its political and institutional advantages, China has formed a trans-regional, trans- departmental, and trans-industrial poverty reduction process to which all social sectors contribute through the mechanism of "Party leadership, government guidance and social participation."

-- Accelerating economic development and promoting poverty reduction. Taking poverty reduction as a major element of economic development, China promotes poverty reduction alongside economic growth, combines development-oriented poverty alleviation and socio-economic development, treats poverty alleviation through development as the main focus of the economic and social development plan, coordinates the development of poverty reduction and human rights protection, and achieves effective interaction between plans for poverty reduction and elimination, national economic and social development, and national human rights action.

-- Adhering to multi-form poverty reduction, and focusing on effect. Development is the fundamental approach to poverty eradication. China addresses poverty reduction by enhancing the skills of the impoverished population and improving their capacity for self-development, and acts to prevent the transfer of poverty across generations. The government adds preferential policies to its general welfare policy, devising preferential policies for the impoverished population on the basis of the general welfare policy for the rural areas, agriculture and farmers. It takes targeted poverty reduction and elimination as the basic strategy, with differentiated and targeted measures, and provides aid and guarantees for all those who qualify.

-- Prioritizing social fairness and justice, and striving to bring benefits and common prosperity to all. Focusing on ensuring and improving public well-being, China encourages institutional and organizational innovation, and promotes social fairness and justice. It is establishing a social fairness guarantee system applying to rights, opportunities and rules, protecting the people's right to equal participation and equal development with the rule of law, and bringing the benefits of reform and development as well as common prosperity to the whole population.

II. Ensuring Impoverished People's Right to Life

It is one of the basic policies of the Chinese government to innovatively improve its methods in reducing and eradicating poverty, and takes targeted measures to that end. Recently, through data tracking on the conditions of the impoverished population, the government analyzes the causes of their problems, and offer guidance on their development needs. Targeted measures are implemented in terms of funding, projects, and recipients. Every impoverished household is guaranteed help, every village has designated officials to carry out poverty eradication measures, and goals are met within the defined standards. In the fight against poverty, China has enhanced poverty eradication effects, accelerated the speed of poverty eradication, and ensured impoverished people's right to life.

Support has been given to poverty eradication through developing industries with local features. The state has issued a series of development plans and policies regarding industries with local features to provide growth opportunities for impoverished areas. These include the Guiding Opinions on Strengthening Poverty Alleviation Work in the Agricultural Industry and Poverty Alleviation Plan in the Forestry Sector (2013-2020), which focuses on developing agriculture and animal husbandry with local features. Poverty Alleviation Through Development Plan of the Agricultural Industry (2011-2020); Measures for Increasing the Income of Industries with Local Features and Development Plan for Economic Forests (2013-2020), which lay out a good plan for the development of agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry in contiguous poverty-stricken areas, with key areas specified; and Regional Layout of Agricultural Products with Local Features (2013-2020), which covers 96 agricultural products with local characteristics in impoverished areas for unified planning, with increased investment from various sources. During the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period(2011-2015), RMB122 billion was spent on agricultural infrastructure and specialized funds, and RMB116 billion on forestry infrastructure and specialized funds in contiguous poverty-stricken areas. Driven by the industries with local characteristics, poverty-stricken areas are seeing greater momentum in their development, with growing incomes for farmers.

Poverty alleviation through resettling impoverished population has been steadily carried out. Since 2012 the state has allocated RMB40.4 billion from the central government to leverage a total investment of RMB141.2 billion of all kinds, resettling 5.91 million impoverished people. The central and provincial coffers as well as local governments at various levels have provided RMB38 billion for poverty reduction, resettled 5.8 million poor people. These concerted efforts have effectively brought more development opportunities to poverty-stricken areas. Through scientific planning and careful site selection, infrastructure and community services have been strengthened in resettlement areas, significantly improving the living and working conditions of the relocated population. By developing farm production and animal farming, and guiding workers to travel to seek employment elsewhere, China has seen increases in the income of resettled farmers and migrant workers, with faster progress in eradicating poverty and achieving prosperity. In 2016 the Chinese government has initiated a new round of resettlement programs for its impoverished population, with increased funds from central government, and further raised subsidy standards. It has introduced policy-based funds for development, expanded funding sources, and strengthened follow-up support to relocated people, ensuring that each resettled household is lifted out of poverty. (more)

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]


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