One topic has been mentioned every time President Xi Jinping has joined a panel discussion during the ongoing two sessions: poverty alleviation.
He reaffirmed the CPC’s solemn promise to lift all of the country’s poor people out of poverty by the end of this year when speaking with political advisers from the economic sector. He highlighted efforts to consolidate and expand the progress in using industrial development and employment as poverty alleviation methods when talking with national lawmakers from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. He instructed local officials to work hard to fulfill the poverty elimination goal when meeting national lawmakers from Hubei. He asked the military to support poverty relief when attending a plenary meeting of the delegation of the People’s Liberation Army and People’s Armed Police Force.
Poverty alleviation has always been one of President Xi’s big concerns.
A short time after becoming chief of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, he launched a nationwide campaign to eradicate absolute poverty, the threshold required for a society to boost itself to relatively high living standards.
“To lead the people to a better life is our goal. Not a single ethnic group, family or person should be left behind in the process of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects,” Xi said.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the idea of a targeted poverty alleviation plan for the first time during an inspection tour of Shibadong village in Hunan province.
Under the targeted relief campaign, officials are forbidden from merely handing out relief funds without finding ways of attaining sustainable incomes.
“Poverty alleviation plans should be made based on real situations,” Xi said. “It should be targeted at specific groups in specific situations and should avoid using loud slogans.”
Since the CPC’s 18th National Congress, he has visited more than 20 impoverished villages, chaired meetings on poverty reduction, and written letters to primary level officials and residents to encourage them on poverty relief work.
The number of those living in poverty declined from 98.99 million in 2012 to 5.51 million by the end of last year.
People’s lives in poor regions have been improved substantially, and their difficulties in access to transportation, electricity, education, medicine and telecommunications have been broadly addressed.
With just over 200 days left to eliminate absolute poverty and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, NPC deputies and CPPCC members attending the two sessions have actively contributed their ideas.
“Poverty alleviation efforts should not only lift people out of poverty but also enable them to acquire wealth in the long run,” said Li Chunkui, Party secretary of Wushan county in Chongqing. “We are working on connecting poverty reduction to rural revitalization, so people can achieve prosperity step by step.”
“Picking the right industry is the key to realizing poverty alleviation and achieving the result,” said Yu Liufen, Party secretary of Yanbo village, Guizhou province. “We developed the liquor-making industry, used distillers’ grains in the breeding industry and sent poultry manure to sorghum planting, which created more chances for villagers to make money.”
Guizhou has seen 1.88 million people relocated from inhospitable places to resettlement areas. “Providing relocated people with jobs and training them with skills so they can work or set up businesses are important work that authorities need to do after relocation,” said Luo Yinghe, Party secretary of Xinmin community in Huishui county in Guizhou.
Song Qingli, a farmer from Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture, Hubei province, praised helping impoverished people through industries as a long-term solution. With the tea, vegetable and potato industries booming in Enshi, the average per capita income of farmers reached 12,140 yuan in 2019. He suggested the government increase the support to develop transportation infrastructure in poor mountainous regions so products can be easily sent out.
“We need to continue to focus on people who are prone to poverty and fall back into poverty as a result of disease, and take developing industries and stabilizing employment as the fundamental solution,” said Fei Dongbin, mayor of Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia. “We will spare no efforts in working on eliminating poverty and helping residents live a prosperous life.”
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