In Lingyun, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the silk industry helps local people shake off poverty. Xinhua
For Wei Zhizhong, 48, the past Spring Festival was special. It was the first Chinese New Year he celebrated since shaking off poverty last June, Xinhua reported.
Wei lives in Hebu, once a poverty-stricken village in Xihaigu, Ningxia Hui autonomous region. As a farmer, he often struggled to support his family.
Thanks to the national campaign against poverty, Wei was offered a job in 2017 as a forest ranger with an annual salary of 10,000 yuan. He also received a loan of 50,000 yuan to raise cattle.
Wei was among the millions who benefited from the campaign against poverty in China.
On Feb 25, a gathering was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mark the nation’s poverty alleviation accomplishments and honor model poverty fighters. President Xi Jinping announced that absolute poverty has been ended, saying that China has secured a “complete victory” in its fight against poverty.
According to Xinhua, over the past eight years, the 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living below the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty. All 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 villages have also been removed from the poverty list.
据新华社报道，在过去的8年间，9899万农村贫困人口全部脱贫, 832个贫困县全部摘帽, 12.8万个贫困村全部出列。
The country has met the poverty eradication target set out in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. And according to World Bank data, China has contributed to 70 percent of worldwide poverty reduction in the last 40 years.
“China’s success should inspire the world to work together to end extreme poverty, drawing on China’s experience, including massive investments in education, public health and advanced infrastructure,” Jeffrey Sachs, a professor at Columbia University, US, who served as a special adviser to former UN secretaries-general Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon, told China Daily.
For China, eliminating absolute poverty is a new starting point. The country is moving on to push for higher-level development in its rural areas, and progress is already underway.
On Feb 25, a new government body was unveiled for promoting rural vitalization. It was transformed from the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development.
Efforts will also be made to prevent any large-scale relapse into poverty, including a five-year transition period during which major supportive policies and assistance for the poor will remain stable.