China’s 2020 poverty alleviation goal attainable: Xi

Beijing, Nov 3 (IANS) China will be able to achieve its 2020 poverty relief target, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

Xi made the remarks while addressing the fifth plenum of 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, which convened last week to map out the blueprint for China’s development from 2016 to 2020, or the 13th Five-Year Plan, Xinhua reported.

As of the end of 2014, China had 70.17 million people in rural areas living below the poverty line. In China this is set at an annual income of 2,300 yuan ($376) by 2010 price standards.

China plans to lift the citizens out of poverty by 2020, according to a communique released after the CPC plenary meeting.

“Eliminating poverty in rural areas is the most difficult challenge to building a moderately prosperous society,” said Xi.

To this end, the government plans to issue poverty-relief policies and improve infrastructure in rural areas, including roads, access to water, power and internet, according to the CPC Central Committee’s proposal on formulating the 13th Five-year Plan

The CPC also pledged to improve education, health care and public services in poor areas.

The government will also establish a social services system for “left-behind” children, women and the elderly.

While increasing fiscal expenditure on poverty relief, private investment and community groups will be encouraged to join the battle against poverty.

“If the government takes concrete and effective action, China can lift 10 million people out of poverty every year from 2016 to 2020,” said the president.

“The social security system will cover the remaining 20 million poor people who are unfit to work, and they will receive financial aid to ensure they live above the poverty line,” said the president.

China has made remarkable progress in poverty alleviation. It was the first developing country to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reducing the population living in poverty by half ahead of the 2015 deadline.

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