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Full Text: Pooling Strengths for Poverty Alleviation Works Miracle

2021-04-18 00:05

On April 19, 2021, H. E. Ambassador Zhang Zuo has published an article on China's poverty alleviation efforts in the newspaper Вечер. Тhe English version of the full text is as follows:

Poverty alleviation is a common cause of human society. For thousands of years, the Chinese people have been striving hard to get rid of poverty. Since the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1921, the CPC has united and led the people of all ethnic groups to fight poverty with unwavering conviction and tenacious will. Since the founding of the new China in 1949 and the Reform and Opening up in 1978, China has experienced great development. And poverty alleviation has been accelerated. Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee, with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, has united and led the Chinese people to fight a decisive battle against poverty, which is unprecedented in scale and intensity and benefiting the largest number of people in human history, and achieved the poverty alleviation targets of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. I would like to show the joint efforts at this battle on poverty from four perspectives.

First, from the perspective of President Xi Jinping's visit to a village in Yunnan province. 2020 is a decisive year in China's fight against poverty. On the afternoon of January 19, President Xi Jinping visited the village of Wa ethnic group in Tengchong County in Yunnan. Xi Jinping walked into the villagers' homes to learn the situation of poverty alleviation, and stressed that "it has always been my wish and our common goal to ensure the people of all ethnic groups live a good life." In fact, to ensure a happy life for the Chinese people, has always been the deepest concern of President Xi. At the end of 2012, after the 18th CPC National Congress in that November, despite cold , President Xi went to Luotuowan Village and Gujiatai Village in Fuping County, Hebei Province to check with peasants in need. During that visit, Xi proposed for the first time the concept of "giving differentiated guidance for targeted poverty alleviation in line with local conditions by seeking truth from facts". From this strategy of development-driven poverty alleviation began the campaign against poverty in the new era.

For 8 years, President Xi Jinping has personally assumed leadership, made plans, and directed the battle against poverty. Xi made over 50 fact-finding trips, visited every one of the 14 contiguous impoverished areas across the country and over 20 poor villages. In 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed for the first time the important idea of "Targeted Poverty Alleviation" on his inspection tour to Shibadong Village, Huayuan County, Hunan Province. In 2015, at the National Conference on Development-driven Poverty Alleviation, President Xi Jinping sounded the bugle call to battle, "We should be determined, dedicate ourselves, and work hard towards this goal". In 2017, President Xi Jinping emphasized in the report to the 19th CPC National Congress that "we will resolutely win the battle against poverty ". In 2020, despite the sudden attack of Covid-19, President Xi Jinping hosted the largest-ever national discussion in China on fighting poverty, mobilizing the whole country to "push forward the battle against poverty with greater determination and higher intensity." At the grand gathering held in February 2021, to mark China's achievements in poverty alleviation and to honor its model fighters against poverty, President Xi Jinping solemnly announced the elimination of absolute poverty in China, creating another human miracle that will be inscribed in history.

Second, from the experience of targeted support by the Ministry of Foreign Affair. The central government ministries' targeted support to impoverished counties is an important component of the poverty alleviation by development program with Chinese characteristics. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has provided targeted support to Jinping and Malipo, two impoverished counties in Yunnan Province. Ministers in the Foreign Ministry led the poverty alleviation team to the two counties on a regular basis. They carried out field inspections and investigations, held discussions and exchanged ideas with leaders in the province, the related prefectures and counties, chose the right path and formed plans for poverty alleviation. The Foreign Ministry has sent 38 poverty alleviation representatives and three First Secretaries to be stationed at villages in the poverty-stricken counties of Jinping and Malipo in Yunnan Province, helping local people improve their well-being, such as ensuring their drinking water and adequate food, as well as providing them education and health care. Taking full advantage of its "diplomatic strength", the Foreign Ministry overcame difficulties and worked in innovative ways, investing over 467 million RMB in the two counties, implementing more than 1,600 projects in education, health care, drinking water, vocational training, building "beautiful countryside" and industries. Those projects have directly benefited more than 400,000 people and made contributions to the two counties getting deregistered as "impoverished counties" in 2020.

Poverty alleviation is a sophisticated mega-project which requires arduous and systematic effort. Since the beginning of the battle against poverty in 2012, 307 institutions of the central government have provided targeted support to 592 impoverished counties. The military provided targeted support to 4,100 impoverished villages. 127,000 private enterprises participated in the targeted poverty alleviation campaign of "Thousands of Enterprises Helping Thousands of Villages", by gathering resources to rural and impoverished areas, helping 139,100 villages (including 73,200 impoverished villages) in forms of setting up industries, solving the problems of employment, improving public welfare and offering education, benefiting 18.0385 million people. China has devoted a great deal of manpower, material and financial resources to poverty alleviation. Since 2013, more than 3 million team leaders/first Party secretaries and 255,000 working teams have been selected and dispatched to carry out targeted poverty alleviation, working side by side with 2 million township officials and millions of village officials. Over the past 8 years, China has lifted over 10 million people out of poverty every year on average. That is equivalent to lifting the entire population of a medium-sized country out of poverty every year, or one person being lifted above the poverty line every three seconds. It is a miracle that a country has managed to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty in such a short period of time.

Thirdly, from the experience of the paired assistance and collaboration model of poverty alleviation between Fujiang Province (abbreviated as Min) and Ningxia Province (abbreviated as Ning). In 1996, Xi Jinping, then Deputy Decretary of the Fujian provincial Party Committee, served as the leader of leading group on Fujian-Ningxia paired assistance poverty-alleviation, directly responsible for promoting the project of "Fujian-Ningxia (Min-Ning) paired assistance and collaboration of poverty-alleviation", since "Min" is the abbreviation for Fujian Province (a province in eastern region) and "Ning" is the abbreviation for Ningxia Province (a province in western region). Xi provided important guidance on paired assistance by paying inspection visits to Ningxia twice, delivering three important speeches, and attending the Joint Meeting for Min-Ning Poverty Alleviation and Cooperation for five times. Fujian and Ningxia formed a collaboration mechanism featuring joint promotion, paired assistance, industry-driven development, mutual learning and supporting, as well as participation of wider social forces. In April 1997, during his visit to Xihaigu, the southern mountainous area of Ning