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Amazing China - A 5-year Miracle: Xi's targeted 'war' on poverty


10-10-2017 16:29 BJT

Editor’s Note: As the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will open soon, CCTV.com had produced a 20-episode special series, ‘Amazing China - A 5-year Miracle,’ that cover the hottest topics in the country during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first 5-year term in office. Our CCTV Panview team brings you a closer look...

An apple tree stands on a farmland in Renjiawa village, central China. The first apple for this year fell onto the ground - not quite as magical as the one that inspired Newton, but powerful enough to change the life of the family.

Renjiawa is one of the poorest areas in China, where for decades the locals had barely earned a living through planting wheat and beans. Thanks to China's program, "Targeted-Poverty-Alleviation," now villagers are getting subsidies equivalent to 2,000 yuan per acre, to plant apple trees which could be more profitable. So when the harvest arrives, it offers farmers a way to escape a life of mere subsistence to embrace real wealth creation!

Nowadays, stories like Renjiawa are happening all across China.

Since 2013, China has lifted 66 million Chinese people – equivalent to the population of France – out of poverty. They have benefited from the Targeted-Poverty-Alleviation strategy put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping. What is so magical about it?

Most global methods in alleviating poverty are set to distribute money equally to poor people. However, China has made its way differently, by focusing on one person or one family out of 1.4 billion people and analyze the poverty reason for each case and making a 'personalized' plan for the case.

China has sent many experienced cadres to poverty-stricken villages as first Party secretary. They would visit families one by one, talk with family members and record all personal details on their health conditions, incomes, living expenses and difficulties confronting them.

From 2013 to 2015, two million government staffs had been involved in the program. They managed to set up 89 million files on poor families. On this basis, China formulated the same amount of personalized poverty-alleviation plans. Why spend so much energy on it?

Reasons behind each poverty family are different, same as each person's conditions,  such as lack of development funding and working skills, pressure to support elder family members, as well as no access to highways connecting them to the outside world.

In order to maximize poverty alleviation results, Chinese government has arranged different funds and customized support according to different situations in villages and families.

Xi Jinping said that poverty alleviation has to be based on practical factors, adjust measures to local conditions, make it clear on what to plant and feed, where to increase income, helping villagers look for the best way to find wealth.

Some villages are supporting tourism, others have built roads and bridges to increase farm products sales. For the elderly unable to work, the government gives them money for living expenses, while those lacking work skills would receive professional training.

This is how China helps reduce poverty by making personalized plans according to different circumstances of villages and individuals. This is 'precision' of China's poverty alleviation.

Under such targeted poverty alleviation strategies, China is able to lift 10 million people out of poverty each year, and is expected to reach the goal of  'eliminating poverty in China by 2020.'

Meanwhile, there are still more than 700 million people living in extreme poverty in the world. How do we create opportunities for development and close the gap between poor and rich, bringing us to a shared wealthy future? Is "Targeted Poverty Alleviation" a good example for the world to study?

Let's continue our discussion in the next episode.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )


Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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