China’s fight against poverty


Amid the elaboration of the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN, the leaders of the world pledged that by 2030 nobody anywhere in the world would live in extreme poverty. The key aim of the Millennium Development Goals replaced by the SDGs at the turn of the year was that extreme poverty would be halved. The dream of eradicating widespread poverty in China is not a new term or initiative. It dates back to the Communist Party’s rise to power in 1949. Chinese Communist Party fought against injustice and poverty among farmers. Chairman Mao Zedong’s economic experiments, however, actually set the country back. According to the World Bank reports, in 1990 there were more than 750 million people living in poverty across china. Almost 30 years later in 2019, Beijing said that number has dropped to just 16.6 million. Beijing is on the verge to help 30 million people rise above its official poverty line of about 70p a day while simultaneously reinforcing the already considerable authority of Xi, now seen as China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong. China’s breathtaking economic ascent has helped hundreds of millions lift themselves from poverty since the 1980s but in 2016 at least 5.7% of its rural population still lived in poverty. However, China’s western fringes, which still lag behind the prosperous east coast, are a particular focus. Currently, the government’s plan is broadly divided into two strategies, big national policies and small local interventions. At a national level, the policies revolve around infrastructure spending. Xi’s administration is spending billions of dollars into the problem. They spent $19 billion in 2019 alone, which has been spent on a variety of projects and initiatives across the country. More than 200,000 kilometers (124,274 miles) of roads were built or renovated in 2018 and 94% of poor villages were connected to the internet, according to government figures. Dozens of state owned enterprises have joined the campaign and poured more than $4 billion (30 billion yuan) into poverty relief programs as of early 2019 as it was stated by the state media.

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