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China key driver of global poverty reduction
Author :  WANG MENG Source : Chinese Social Sciences Today 2017-01-09
“Had it not been for remarkable contributions made by China, the United Nations wouldn’t have achieved the primary millennium development goal (MDG) to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger,” according to a recent report on poverty alleviation.
The Annual Report on Poverty Reduction of China (2016) was released jointly by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Poverty Relief Office of the State Council on Dec. 27, 2016.
The report points out that the central and provincial governments appropriated more than 100 billion yuan for poverty alleviation for the first time in 2016, thus lifting more than 10 million people out of poverty.
Official statistics show that China accounted for 71.82 percent of the world’s total poverty reductions from 1981 to 2012.
Aside from alleviating poverty, China has also contributed to global human well-being from multiple dimensions, according to the report. Between 1990 and 2014, China helped the Human Development Index hit the target more than two years in advance, contributed 45.6 percent of the world’s increased population using improved drinking-water sources, and raised the global life expectancy by one year.
China has made irreplaceable contributions to the successful implementation of the MDGs, said Gu Qing, assistant director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China, adding that the nation accomplished one third of the global poverty reduction tasks during 1990-2015.
“Many of China’s poverty alleviation strategies strongly align with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, such as stressing the participation of more and broader subjects as well as the sustainability of society and the environment,” Gu said.
Gu noted the UNDP will act in close collaboration with the Chinese State Council’s Poverty Relief Office to spread China’s poverty reduction experience to the world, give play to the advantages of the country’s innovative research and projects, and provide reference points for global poverty alleviation work.
Fan Xiaojian, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, said that political and institutional advantages are the most important basic poverty alleviation experience of China.
“When talking with officials of developing countries, I often heard them saying ‘the Chinese poverty reduction experience is good, but we have difficulties learning it because we don’t have this kind of party and system that has been making consistent efforts toward the poverty alleviation goal,’” Fan said.
In contrast to other countries, China regards poverty relief as part of the planning for the whole nation, said Song Hongyuan, director of the Research Center for Rural Economy under the Ministry of Agriculture.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the poverty reduction situation in China remains grim due to challenges posed by macroeconomic adjustments, climate change, natural disasters and market fluctuations.
In this context, the report suggests taking targeted poverty alleviation and eradication as the basic guideline and centering on the improvement of poverty-stricken objects’ abilities.
It is also vital to synergize the efforts of government, market and society, and carry out comprehensive, coordinated, sustainable and green poverty alleviation, says the report.