Last year, precision poverty alleviation made significant progress, with the rural poor population reduced by 13.86 million. During the 2019 annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the government work report shows that China aims to create over 11 million new urban jobs and to reduce rural poor population by over 10 million in 2019.
Since the end of 2013 when Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward a comprehensive poverty eradication agenda, the country has made tremendous progress by lifting more than 60 million people out of poverty.
The second session of the 13th National People's Congress opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2019. (Photo/Xinhua)
China has impressed the world for two reasons: One is that it achieved an immense economic renaissance to become the world's second largest economy and the other is that it had made huge strides in fighting poverty, with an aim to become a poverty-free country by 2020.
There is no doubt that the African continent desperately needs to draw lessons from the Chinese experience of fighting poverty. In this article we will try to discuss this experience and how to make use of it.
How China Reduces Poverty
Reform and opening-up, decentralization, anti-corruption and urbanization are the most important tools in China's roadmap for achieving its development goals and fighting poverty.
There is no doubt that robust and long-term economic growth is the main driver of poverty reduction, and China's economic development, with an average growth rate of 9.5 percent annually since the beginning of its reform and opening-up in 1978, has created more jobs and more opportunities to increase incomes. The Chinese government has become stronger and more capable of helping the underprivileged to shake off poverty.
Staff members look at photovoltaic power generation equipment in Changluo Village, Tanjiaqiao Town, Huangshan District, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, May 22, 2017.
China has pursued a policy of decentralization of governance, giving local governments greater powers that enable them to make swift and important decisions to attract and stabilize investments.
At the same time, China has carried out extensive campaigns since 1990 to fight corruption and reward and promote officials who made outstanding performance in governance, which has given efficiency to all policies and investments.
The development and urbanization of villages is the strongest way to achieve a rapid surge in the battle against poverty. Premier Li Keqiang has pledged in his government work reports over the past five years to reduce the number of poor people by 10 million every year.
A villager carries harvested okra among fields in Fanyang Town, Wuzhishan City of south China’s Hainan Province, May 18, 2017. (Photo/Xinhua)
In 2018, 13.86 million people were lifted out of poverty. The remarkable achievement was partially attributed to the accelerating development of infrastructure in poverty-stricken rural areas, where some 208,000 kilometers of roads were built or renovated. Moreover, new progress was made in modernizing the internet networks in China's rural areas, with 94 percent of poor villages covered.