The Chinese government will continue to make poverty reduction a major task and endeavor to ensure the development achievements benefit all the Chinese people, said Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Wednesday.
Hui made the remarks at the opening of the International Conference on "Taking Action for the World's Poor and Hungry People", which coincides with the Fifteenth International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
"Although China has made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction, it is still a developing country with low per capita income and prominent unbalanced regional development. We still face a tough task in poverty reduction," Hui said.
Since the reform and opening up to the outside world, China had made remarkable achievements in poverty elimination and improving living standards, he said.
The number of extremely poor people in rural China had fallen from 250 million in 1978 to just over 20 million by the end of 2006, and the incidence of poverty dropped from 30.7 percent to 2.3 percent.
Hui said the government would continue to improve social welfare for all the people, actively develop agriculture and continue to strengthen the beneficial policies for rural people, increase job training for the poor and improve infrastructure construction to strengthen the development capability of poor areas and people, and call on the whole society to join the poverty reduction campaign.
He said China would make its due contribution to the world's poverty reduction course and promote common prosperity. He called for all countries to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation in poverty reduction.
The conference has attracted more than 400 officials, representatives and scholars from more than 50 countries and regions, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
They will share China's experience and achievements in poverty reduction and discuss how to promote the international efforts in this regard.
(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2007)