China’s President, Xi Jinping has declared “complete victory” in his government’s effort to eradicate rural poverty, lifting the income of nearly 100 million people over the past eight years.
The Chinese leader made the announcement during the National Commendation Conference in Beijing to mark what has been described as a signature initiative of his tenure and his gift to the nation as it prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party in July.
According to officials, over the last eight years, an estimated 98.99 million people in the countryside have been lifted out of extreme poverty, Also, all of China’s 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 of its villages have been removed from the poverty list.
The Chinese government defines poverty as income levels at or below the rural poverty line of 4,000 Chinese yuan ($619) per year, up from 2,625 yuan ($406) in 2012. In comparison, the World Bank’s poverty line is $693.5.
President Xi presented awards and certificates to representatives of national honorary title recipients for their contribution to poverty reduction at the conference. A total of 1,981 individuals and 1,501 collective units were awarded at the conference.
The President said that China will not forget the over 1,800 people who sacrificed their lives while fighting on the frontlines of the battle against poverty. They represented the original aspiration and mission of CPC members, he noted.
Commenting on the President’s declaration, Zhang Xixian, a Professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told reporters that the spirit of poverty alleviation is the result of the efforts of two generations of people led by the CPC since the 1980s, especially over the past eight years.
“The mention of the spirit of poverty alleviation today by President Xi at the commendation conference makes it a national level spirit, just like the Jinggangshan spirit and Yan’an spirit during revolutionary times.
“Those spirits together form CPC’s spiritual pedigree, becoming prominent features of the CPC and part of China’s soft power. It invigorates the CPC, which is critically important for the Chinese people at a time when the Party will mark the 100th anniversary of its founding in just four months.”
The Chief Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Yu Shaoxiang also told reporters that eliminating absolute poverty shows that China’s development has entered a new era.
“China’s achievement in poverty alleviation shows the progress of the country’s whole nation system- China can concentrate its efforts and resources to do major things and realize development.”Yu Shaoxiang
Yu also alluded to the fact that at every important stage in its development, China has developed a different spirit, such as the Jinggangshan spirit and the Yan’an spirit.
“The newly announced spirit of poverty alleviation is a summary of experiences from China’s poverty reduction work over the past decades. The practice has come into theory, which can be promoted to and help other developing countries in the world.”