China soon to be marvel in fight against poverty


By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

Escaping poor economic condition is a goal which almost each of us try to chase, while in broader perspective, countries strives for the poverty eradication. The statistics of the World Bank shows decline in the number of extremely poor population globally, which reduced from 1.85 billion in 1990 to around 736 million in 2015. In the corresponding period, China had achieved a milestone, lifting 602.7 million people from poverty, which accounts for 54 per cent of worldwide numbers reported by the World Bank. According to World Bank, the category of extremely poor people includes those living on $1.90 a day or less.
China’s efforts to eliminate poverty based on persistent struggle and policy lines, President Xi Jingping took this movement towards a remarkable progress. The plan to uplift masses out of poverty took momentum in 2012, when President Xi continued his first term in office. President approved different strategies including targeted poverty alleviation, pairing up strategy, accelerating the development of ‘Internet Plus’ strategies and resettlement programs. All these actions resulted in getting closer to achieving the ultimate goal of zero poverty or absolute poverty eradication in the country.
Firstly, the targeted poverty alleviation strategy focused on industrial development, relocation, eco-compensation, education and social security. For this, an institutional system was established to oversee the overall stages in reaching the set goals such as registration, policy, investment, assistance, social mobilization, multi-channel, all-around supervision and assessment.
Secondly, the interesting pairing up strategy allowed impoverished provinces to avail assistance from the more developed provinces of the country, as the East is more developed compare to the West. Therefore, the East had to contribute to the West of the country to pace the development process.
Thirdly, the Chinese government has also accelerated the development of ‘Internet Plus’ strategies to reach the goal in anti-poverty combat. For example, 5G network installation is underway; in fact it has reached to the remote and high altitude areas in the country, such as Xinjiang, while, the e-commerce giant Alibaba has established e-centers better-known as Taobao villages that encourage online sales of farm products and local specialties of rural areas. With such initiatives the rapid development of internet based operations/services accelerates the anti-poverty fight.
Fourthly, the resettlement program which has a focus on relocation of remote population into recently developed cities in the country. Under this program, in last four years China had to relocate over 9.81 million people from ecologically fragile areas to newly developed cities or close to the existing developed cities.
The world’s largest poverty alleviation campaign in history is bearing fruits in rural areas of China, with people’s living standards mounting with rapid pace. The overall poverty eradication campaign focused on developing local industries, healthcare, education and curbing corruption which resulted in successfully lifting more than 68 million masses out of poverty in isolated areas over the past five years alone. To simplify, China had achieved the goal for driving national poverty rate down from 10.2 to just 3.1 per cent and in near future as President Xi stresses on absolute poverty eradication, the number will come to zero, making a miracle and example for the whole world.
In order to reach the goal of making moderately prosperous society, China still has around 52 counties, 2,707 villages and 5.51 million people, who are to be lifted out of poverty. So, the fight continues with the persisted efforts of Chinese leadership towards making marvel. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics data, the rural poverty population declined significantly from 98.99 million at the end of 2012 to just 5.52 million in 2019. The Chinese government has made concrete plans for the remaining 5.52 million people, including investing more than $4 billion, among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic crippled economic activities around the world. It was also a major hurdle for the successful completion of China’s anti-poverty drive but statistics show that 97 per cent of poverty-alleviation enterprises had already resumed work on full scale, while 82 per cent of relief projects have been fully resumed and over 95 per cent of workers have returned to work places. Just like China won the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the win against poverty is close to realize. For this very reason, the whole world is keenly observing China’s efforts in fighting the anti-poverty battle.
Many world leaders, officials lauded China’s tireless efforts to overcome obstacles including poverty. Some quotes are here to reflect leaders, officials’ views on China’s anti-poverty fight.
“China’s experiences eradicating poverty and improving health equity continue to serve as [examples] to other countries. China can apply its lessons learned here to extend its international efforts on COVID-19 to contribute to greater solidarity and reduction of poverty far beyond its borders” Gauden Galea, WHO.
“China’s goal of overcoming poverty and building a society with a modest prosperity in all areas would not be affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. If you look to the future, the outbreak of the epidemic is just one of the episodes in China’s vigorous development process”, Volker Tschapke, President of Prussian Society.
“China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and its experiences can provide valuable lessons to other developing countries”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“China has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty during the last three decades, which is an unprecedented achievement in world history and Pakistan will learn from it” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.
To conclude, the Chinese government, leadership and nation have shown to the world that with consistent efforts every goal is achievable, and if all of them were on same page as in China, every obstacle in path towards development could be overcome. The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has also acknowledged, the hard work, sheer dedication of the Chinese leadership and Chinese nation on several occasion, I hope that his government will avail the golden opportunity to benefit from the Chinese experience in fight against poverty.
–CN, The author is a staff member of The Daily Mail.