Full text: China's Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights (1)

EDS: Please refer to Xinhua's Photographic News Department for graphics in the document.

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council Information Office on Monday issued a white paper on China's progress in poverty reduction and human rights.

Following is the full text of the document.

China's Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights

The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China October 2016

First Edition 2016


I. China's Poverty Reduction Program Has Promoted the Development of Human Rights

II. Ensuring Impoverished People's Right to Life

III. Safeguarding the Rights of Specific Groups

IV. Improving the Development Environment of Impoverished Areas

V. Concerted Efforts in Poverty Reduction

VI. Poverty Reduction at a Crucial Stage

Poverty eradication is and always has been a goal and a basic right of all peoples in their pursuit of a happy life. Over the years, based on the prevailing national conditions, the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have remained committed to a development concept that puts people's rights to subsistence and to development first. Committed to reducing and eliminating poverty, China has endeavored to guarantee and improve people's well-being, and developed a full range of social undertakings, so as to ensure that the results of development benefit all the people in a fairer way, and that all enjoy the rights to equal participation and equal development.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in November 2012, in the great cause of building a moderately prosperous society and realizing the Chinese Dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the CPC Central Committee led by General Secretary Xi Jinpinghas remained committed to a development concept that puts people first, and implemented the basic strategy of targeted poverty alleviation and elimination. China's poverty reduction actions, both solid and effective, have made a great contribution to the cause of international poverty reduction, and achieved remarkable results in world human rights development.

I. China's Poverty Reduction Program Has Promoted the Development of Human Rights

Poverty is so widespread that it has seriously hindered the fulfillment and enjoyment of human rights; reducing and eliminating poverty is therefore a major element of human rights protection.

Over the recent decades, the Chinese government has persevered in its attempts to eliminate poverty, improve people's well-being, and gradually realize common prosperity. It has made continuous development- oriented poverty-reduction efforts in rural areas to help those who are striving to escape from poverty and improve the quality of their lives.

China's poverty reduction actions are broad in extent; they include building rural and agricultural infrastructure, helping increase the incomes of impoverished population, and providing public services such as social security and health care, education and cultural services. While comprehensively safeguarding the economic, social and cultural rights of those living in poverty, these measures have created conditions for the protection of other human rights.

Since the initiation of reform and opening up in the late 1970s, the Chinese government has worked without fail to alleviate poverty - establishing special poverty-relief institutions, determining targeted areas and population, allocating specialized funds, formulating poverty standards and special preferential policies adapted to China's national conditions, and steering its policy of poverty alleviation through development.

The government has carried out large-scale development-oriented poverty eradication programs across the country in a planned and organized way, and implemented a series of medium- and long-term projects which include the Seven-Year Program for Lifting 80 Million People Out of Poverty (1994-2000), the Outline for Development-Oriented Poverty Alleviation for China's Rural Areas (2001-2010) and the Outline for Development-Oriented Poverty Alleviation for China's Rural Areas (2011-2020). Poverty reduction has become an important component of China's national strategy.

Since the 18th National Congress of CPC, the Central Committee has given top priority to development-oriented poverty reduction in its philosophy of governance, deeming it vital in its efforts to complete the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the centenary of the CPC (founded in 1921), which is known to be one of China's "Two Centenary Goals." (see note) To this end, poverty reduction has been incorporated into China's overall approach to building socialism with Chinese characteristics, that is, to promote coordinated progress in economic, political, cultural, social and ecological areas and strategy of "Four Comprehensives" (comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively implement the rule of law, and comprehensively strengthen Party discipline).

[Note: The Two Centenary Goals were put forth by the CPC at its 18th National Congress for building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The other goal is to build China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious by the centenary of the People's Republic of China (founded in 1949).]

At the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held in October 2015, the CPC further specified the task of eliminating rural poverty and rehabilitating all impoverished counties by 2020. The subsequent central work conference on development-oriented poverty reduction, held the following November, and the decision on winning the fight against poverty issued by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council in December, made comprehensive plans on poverty elimination for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).

China's 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development has codified the central leadership's poverty-reduction decision into the state will that is operable in practice. For the first time, poverty reduction has been made an important part of one of China's five-year plans, and helping the poor population shake off poverty has been listed an obligatory index in such a document. Also for the first time, the heads of Party committees and governments of relevant provinces and autonomous regions have signed to the Central Authorities letters of commitment on poverty elimination, and likewise similar documents have been signed by leaders at lower levels.

Poverty reduction is the most telling evidence of China's progress in human rights. Over the past 30 years or more since the launch of reform and opening up, more than 700 million Chinese people have been raised from poverty. The number of rural poor had fallen to 55.75 million by 2015, with the incidence of poverty dropping to 5.7 percent. Notable improvement has been made to infrastructure and basic public services, and poverty-reduction mechanisms have been innovated, thus contributing to the guarantee of the basic rights of the impoverished population. This has laid a solid foundation for achieving a moderately prosperous society in all respects. (more)

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]


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