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Advancing poverty alleviation and rural vitalization

Author  :  WANG GUANGLU     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-07-09

From June 15 to 16, a symposium on poverty alleviation and rural vitalization was held at Nanjing Agricultural University (NJAU). Scholars and experts discussed such issues as the combining of poverty alleviation and rural vitalization, the poverty alleviation mechanism, innovation in poverty alleviation, and targeted poverty alleviation.

Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that, by the end of 2018, the poverty-stricken population in rural areas was reduced to 16.6 million; the incidence of poverty dropped to 1.7%; and the per capita disposable income of impoverished residents grew to RMB10,371. China’s constant promotion of poverty alleviation has led to great progress and contributed to global poverty alleviation in both theory and practice.

Zhong Funing, a professor from the College of Economics and Management at NJAU, put forward that China adheres to development-oriented poverty reduction, with development as a main method and social relief a supplementary means, thus relying more on economic growth and regional development. As the poverty-stricken population continuously decreases and the distribution of the poor keeps changing, policies and measures for particular impoverished groups have become increasingly important; therefore, targeted poverty alleviation has become a top priority. Targeted poverty alleviation puts more emphasis on justice and results. More than just focusing on the impoverished, targeted poverty alleviation policies pay close attention to those who have the potential or the ability to increase their productivity and income and contribute to the sustainability of poverty elimination.

Gao Qiang, director of the Research Center of Rural Policies at the Nanjing Forestry University, said that poverty alleviation and rural vitalization share similarities in terms of orientation, policy content, and systems and mechanisms. To achieve an alignment of the two strategies, we should develop rural industries and improve rural infrastructures and conditions according to local realities. In addition, we should also better design and utilize social insurance as a basic policy, relocate the poor, carry out rural construction, establish teams specialized in poverty reduction, and develop local economies.

“As the development of industries plays an important role in poverty alleviation and rural vitalization, the selection and quality of industries are key to the future of rural areas.” Li Jing, a research fellow from the Rural Development Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, put forward that the development of industries in rural areas should evolve from spurring local industrial growth to guiding poverty reduction through industrial development, thus leading to a combination of thriving businesses with rural modernization, industrialization and urbanization. Regarding methods and measures, we should shift from benefiting the particular to the public and from focusing on management to services. In terms of focal points, we need to cultivate leading industries and enhance businesses with local strengths.

Over the course of poverty alleviation, education-oriented poverty reduction has played a significant role. Li Xingzhou, deputy director of the China Institute for Poverty Reduction at Beijing Normal University, said that the aim of education-oriented poverty reduction is to achieve educational justice in rural areas through the promotion of equality in the education process. Quality education is a requirement for the realization of the social value of poverty alleviation. We have attached great importance to the development of quality education in impoverished areas. By ensuring policy implementation, spending on education and the assigning of qualified personnel, we strive to provide equal and quality education for impoverished residents and shoulder the social responsibilities.

Lei Ming, director of the Poverty Research Institute at Peking University, said that poverty alleviation in all aspects should not be limited to the economic field, it should rather include work in the fields of politics, culture, society and ecology.

Editor: Yu Hui

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