As China rings in the Year of the Ox, President Xi Jinping has declared the new achievement of eradicating extreme poverty in China’s rural areas which he hailed as a miracle.
After eight years of hard work, the Chinese government was able to lift nearly 100 million people out of poverty. The good news fitted well in the spirit of the new Chinese year of Ox which is traditionally known to be a symbol of diligence, dedication, endeavor and strength.
However, it could carry greater significance not only for China, but for the whole world where one-fifth of the population is afflicted by poverty, and where rural poverty accounts for nearly 63 per cent of poverty worldwide, reaching 90 per cent in some countries like Bangladesh and between 65 and 90 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, according to IMF data.
Speaking at a ceremony in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the “arduous task of eradicating extreme poverty has been fulfilled,” describing the achievement as “complete victory” that would “go down in history.”
President Xi highlighting that ” all 98.99 million poor rural population has been taken out of poverty, and 832 poverty-stricken counties as well as 128,000 villages have been removed from the poverty list.”
The outstanding achievement even was evident in satellite imageries that showed the great changes in China through the past eight years as the night of the country’s vast western poor areas has been illuminated by more lights, the roads to remote and small villages have extended and bridges have been erected, new residential communities have appeared in livable areas and mountains and deserts are covered in green.
The government has managed to relocate millions of people from remote villages into apartment complexes. Sometimes these were built in towns and cities, but in other cases new villages were built near the old ones.
The great mission was going on and was even totally accomplished under the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic – a fact that deserves more admiration and deliberation.
The fact that such an irritating problem of such a big scale can be eradicated in such a short period sends a glimmer of hope that poverty is not such an incurable disease and that China might have finally found the vaccine.
Poverty is a process of many dimensions and complexities. The causes of rural poverty could involve, among other things, culture, climate, gender, markets, and public policy. Likewise, the rural poor are quite diverse both in the problems they face and in the feasible solutions to these problems.
It’s obvious that the rapid reduction of poverty in China went hand in hand with a long period of sustained economic growth and of course the extremely hard work. However, still there are many details and stories to be shared with the world on this new miracle in human history which successfully lifted 100 million impoverished people out of extreme poverty.
Such an impressive experience is worthy of sharing with the world especially with their friends in Africa whose Sub-Saharan region is home to approximately 413 million poor people, and where the poverty rate – at 41 per cent – is demonstrably higher than that in other regions of the world.