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Anti-poverty effort wins world's plaudits

China Daily, April 28, 2017 Adjust font size:

Anti-poverty effort wins world's plaudits

Fabric artist Duan Yinkai (right) speaks to foreign guests who attended a meeting in Beijing on China's poverty alleviation efforts on Thursday. [Photo/China Daily]

Foreign governmental and private representatives lauded China's progress in poverty reduction as the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee hosted an event in Beijing showing how the country has done it.

The event, using the example of the CPC Yunnan provincial committee since 2012, attracted about 400 diplomats, foreign politicians and representatives of international organizations on Thursday.

"China's tremendous success in lifting the majority of the underprivileged people out of poverty in over a little more than 30 years is a feat that is unparalleled and truly inspiring," said Mark van den Boogaard, senior policy adviser for the United Nations Development Programme.

Van den Boogaard, who has recently returned from a research trip to Yunnan, said the country's goal to pull all people out of poverty by 2020 is "ambitious" but "realistic".

"From what we have seen in the north of Yunnan, under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese authorities are clearly on the right track." Van den Boogaard cited the "duel approach" of targeted poverty reduction and intervention on one hand, and the nation's idea of leaving no one behind on the other.

Lennart Nilsson, counselor for agricultural affairs with the Swedish embassy, said the figures for China's poverty relief are impressive.

"Yunnan province has a fantastic environment. It is also important for the authorities to preserve the ethnic culture and protect the environment during the poverty reduction process," he said.

Song Tao, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, said at the event that the CPC is willing to share its experience in poverty reduction with the international community and help its neighbors and developing countries to explore their own ways to eradicate poverty.

"Facts have shown that the fundamental strategies by General Secretary Xi Jinping on targeted poverty alleviation are the golden key for China to realize its poverty eradication targets," he said.

China lifted 55.6 million people out of poverty between 2013 and 2016.

However, more than 40 million still live in poverty, which means that in the coming four years, China would have to pull an average of 10 million people each year out of poverty to reach its target of eradicating poverty by 2020, according to the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Chen Hao, secretary of the CPC Yunnan provincial committee, said provincial authorities have prioritized the preservation of the traditional culture of ethnic groups and the protection of the ecology and environmental while reducing poverty. Yunnan's environmental efforts are crucial since it is the source of a number of important national and international rivers, he said.

The province has managed to reduce its impoverished population from 8 million in 2012 to 3.6 million in 2016.