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Anti-poverty efforts earn envoys' praise

By CAO DESHENG and HU MEIDONG in Fuzhou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-10-17 07:13
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A livestreamer dances during an online selling event to promote local farm products in Lop county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Sept 26. On the southern edge of the Taklimakan Desert, the county remains one of the 10 counties still on the poverty list in Xinjiang. HU HUHU/XINHUA

Diplomats from around globe visit rural areas, say results speak for themselves

Moldovan Ambassador to China Dumitru Braghis has been watching China's development since he visited the country for the first time in the 1990s. He said China's tremendous efforts in poverty eradication have most impressed him among the economic miracles it has created.

Braghis visited Ningde, a city known for its pioneering efforts in poverty alleviation in Fujian province, on Wednesday. He was among some 30 diplomatic envoys on a field trip organized by the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Braghis called it encouraging that China expects to eradicate poverty by year's end, and the Chinese people and all of mankind should be proud of the achievements.

China observes its seventh National Poverty Relief Day on Saturday, the same day as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty of the United Nations.

Over four decades, more than 700 million people have risen above the poverty threshold in China, representing 70 percent of global poverty reduction in that time. For the past seven straight years, more than 10 million people were helped out of poverty annually. The nation's impoverished population fell from 98.99 million at the end of 2012 to 5.51 million at the end of 2019.

China's achievements in poverty elimination, which will stand the test of time, are reflected in people's lives and their sense of fulfillment, according to Braghis.

The country aims to lift all poor people in rural areas out of poverty by the end of this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. President Xi Jinping has pledged that China has the confidence and ability to secure the full victory in the critical battle against poverty, realizing the poverty eradication goal of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, placed poverty reduction at the top of the list of major tasks as the Party vowed to build a moderately prosperous society by the centenary of its founding in 2021. In Xi's view, if rural China, particularly impoverished areas, is left behind, a moderately prosperous society will not emerge.

He proposed the idea of targeted poverty alleviation in November 2013 during an inspection tour in Hunan province as the previous "one size fits all" poverty relief policy no longer worked when it came to the most impoverished families. Under Xi's leadership, Party members have been mobilized to go to economically disadvantaged villages and serve as first Party secretaries to help villagers shake off poverty.

Sudanese Ambassador to China Gafar Karar Ahmed said China's achievements in reducing poverty are unprecedented in human history. The strong leadership of the Party, hard work by the Chinese people and the targeted poverty alleviation approach have all contributed, he said.

The Sudanese diplomat said African countries are keen to learn from China's experience in poverty reduction, economic growth and governance. He suggested China establish a governmental body whose main task is to transfer its expertise in poverty alleviation to poor countries, including sending experts and providing other assistance.

Mozambique's ambassador to China, Maria Gustava, who visited Chixi, a formerly poverty-stricken village in Ningde, said she is grateful for being able to see what China has done in poverty alleviation. "Only true friends can open doors to share the parts behind its success," Gustava said.

"We are very impressed by what we saw in Chixi, where we can see the Party, together with the community, working hard to improve people's lives, enabling local people to take ownership of their destiny," she said.

The village's success story assured her that, with determination and focus on hard work and a common vision, it is possible to create a better life for the people, Gustava said. Also, with a constant search for solutions, it is possible to achieve sustainable development, she added.

Given the pandemic, Cyprus' ambassador to China, Antonis Toumazis, highlighted the importance of development to all countries.

Toumazis said that poverty is different in different countries. China's experience in poverty reduction is impressive, but probably cannot be copied directly by other countries, he said. However, he added that international cooperation in poverty eradication is very important.

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