Caixin
Feb 25, 2021 04:21 PM
CHINA

Xi Declares ‘Total Victory’ in Fight on Absolute Poverty

What’s new: China has achieved “total victory” in its campaign to eradicate absolute poverty, President Xi Jinping declared Thursday, bringing the curtain down on a signature policy of the last decade.

Addressing a government conference in Beijing to mark the occasion, Xi said China’s efforts to alleviate extreme poverty in the last eight years had brought about a “human miracle” that will “illuminate the annals of history.”

“This is a great glory for the Chinese people, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese nation,” he said.

Some 99 million rural people, 832 counties and 128,000 rural villages are no longer impoverished according to government standards, Xi said.

The background: Poverty alleviation is at the heart of one of China’s so-called centenary goals, which aims to build a “moderately prosperous” society by 2021, 100 years after the Communist Party was founded.

Xi’s victory declaration was expected for some time. In November, provincial officials removed the final nine counties from a list of deprived areas, paving the way for Thursday’s announcement.

China’s president has made rural revitalization a key theme of his tenure. The country still has wide income inequity, particularly between urban and rural areas.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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