85 percent of Chinese people living below the poverty line – a per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan ($342), have been lifted out of poverty, said Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.
Liu made the remarks at a press conference during the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) held on March 7 in Beijing.
China has made remarkable achievements in poverty alleviation. It lifted 80 million people out of poverty in the past 6 years, with the impoverished population down from 98.99 million at the end of 2012 to 16.60 million at the end of last year, according to the director. An average of over 13 million people was lifted above the poverty line each year during that period.
A farmer dries black fungus at a planting base in Jiulongshan township, Xinyu, east China’s Jiangxi province, March 4, 2019. In recent years, Xinyu has launched 217 projects with local features through corporation-impoverished household cooperation, demonstration zones of industry-driven poverty alleviation and professional cooperatives. These projects largely increased the endogenous power for growth. In 2018, the city lifted 2,620 people out of poverty and eliminated poverty in nine provincial-level impoverished villages. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)
It has been six years since the country carried out targeted poverty alleviation in 2012 and three years since the campaign to eradicate poverty in 2015.
By 2020, the rural population living below the current poverty threshold and impoverished counties will all be lifted out of poverty. In addition, regional poverty will also be eliminated by that time, according to the target set by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
By the end of 2015, there were still 832 impoverished counties in China. 28 were lifted out of poverty in 2016 and 125 in 2017. Around 280 impoverished counties are expected to get rid of poverty last year. The final number would soon be declared after assessment, Liu introduced.
In 2013, there were 128,000 registered impoverished villages and the number dropped to 26,000 by the end of last year.
Over 10 million people and around 300 counties are expected to be lifted out of poverty this year. By 2020, the impoverished population will be reduced to less than 6 million, and the number of impoverished counties to about 60.
China has full confidence to win the battle against poverty, Liu noted.