China aims to lift 10 million people out of poverty
Reported by Katherine Li and Wallis Wang
Edited by Alexandra Lin and Zinnia Lee
China will step up efforts to alleviate poverty using targeted measures and promote the development of local industries, education and healthcare, Premier Li Keqiang revealed in his government report speech.
"This year, we will further reduce the poor rural population by over 10 million, including 2.8 million people who are to be relocated from inhospitable areas," Premier Li said.
Cheung Siu-wai, a China analyst, explained that there will be more cooperation between local and central government and a case-by-case focus on poverty alleviation.
"The government will allocate resources in coordination with local authorities, which means they will find out specific issues and difficulties in different locations in order to find a solution," Mr. Cheung said.
Zuo Hongding, deputy director of Jinsha County Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Bureau that works on poverty alleviation in Guizhou province, said different areas need different approaches to alleviate poverty.
"For mountainous areas that cannot be easily reached, we have no choice but to relocate the people. A family of five who we helped in 2015 was relocated to a 100 square meter house and was provided with livestock and fertilisers. And now they are well above the poverty line," Mr. Zuo said.
The bureau where he works has helped more than 1,000 families in the town of Qinchi in Guizhou province. They plan to lift another 10,000 people out of poverty in the county over the next three years.
Premier Li also announced that the government will "take targeted measures against corruption and misconduct in poverty alleviation and improve the methods used in evaluation and oversight" to manage the poverty alleviation funds more effectively.
Mr. Cheung supported the new approaches on fund and resource allocation in targeted poverty relief.
"In the past, there are many many cases that the local officials will embezzle the money," Mr. Cheung said, "but in the future, the government officials along with the inspections will make sure that the money allocated by the central government will be used in these targeted pockets of poverty areas."
Premier Li stated that people's lives have improved over the past five years, with an increase of personal income of 7.4% on average, outpacing economic growth and creating the world's largest middle-income group.
According to Premier Li, the number of people living in poverty in China has decreased by more than 68 million, even more than the population of France. And the number of people in poverty being relocated exceeded 8.3 million, equivalent to the population of Switzerland.
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