Chinese President Xi Jinping today vowed to lift the remaining over 70 million people in the world’s second biggest economy out of poverty by 2020, which amounts to a million people a month.
Chinese government will enact more support policies to lift the country’s 70 million poor people above the poverty line by 2020, Xi pledged ahead of the 23rd International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Saturday.
Addressing the Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum in Beijing, Xi said China will work to fight the hard battle against poverty.
In his speech, Xi drew on his personal experience in the 1960s working as a farmer in a small village in northwestern Shaanxi Province, where he was struck by the poor living conditions in rural China.
In the past 15 years, China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty, accounting for about 70 per cent of those brought out of poverty worldwide, Hong Tianyun, deputy director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China told the media.
Despite this, China still has 70.17 million people in the countryside living below the country’s poverty line of 2,300 yuan (USD 376) in annual income at the end of last year.
It was the first developing country to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reducing the population living in poverty by half ahead of the 2015 deadline.
“Despite the achievements, China remains the world’s biggest developing country, and narrowing the urban-rural gap remains a big challenge for us,” Xi said.
Xi said poverty alleviation will be a major part of China’s post-2015 agenda, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
While striving to reduce poverty at home, China has also actively supported the cause in other developing countries.
Over the past 60 years, China has provided 166 countries and international organisations with nearly 400 billion yuan (USD 66 billion) in assistance.
China has unconditionally forgiven mature inter- governmental interest-free loans held by heavily-indebted developing countries seven times, the report said.
The goal of eliminating poverty in 15 years was laid out at a United Nations summit last month and China pledged an initial USD 2 billion to establish an assistance fund to help developing nations fight poverty.
In a video message for today’s forum, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon also praised China’s remarkable achievements in poverty alleviation.