The fine line between growth and staying green

By LIU XUAN | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-11-23 11:19
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Participants in a UNDP program in Kaili, Guizhou province, that promotes the empowerment of women. CHINA DAILY

Rise in the rankings

The country's success in developing a xiaokang (moderately prosperous) society has also made a huge contribution to eradicating poverty in all its forms, which is Goal 1 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

When the UNDP established the Human Development Index in 1990, China had a ranking of 0.501, putting it in the low human development group, according to the agency.

The index is a data composite of life expectancy, education and per capita income used to rank countries in four tiers of human development.

The higher a country's life span, level of education and GDP, the higher its place on the index.

By 2018, China had reached 0.758, placing it in the high category after progressing from the low to high human development category.

The country's progress, Trankmann said, is a testimony to the precision and adaptability that China has applied in alleviating poverty with sustained efforts and political commitment, engaging all levels of government, including at provincial, municipal, county, township and village levels.

Furthermore, Trankmann said, the definition of xiaokang has broadened over the years, mirroring global development goals and changing UN commitments.

"It originally focused on lifting incomes for everyone. Then it was expanded to a prosperous society in all aspects, looking beyond income and looking at a range of five areas, from politics to the economy to society to culture and the environment."

That evolution is what the world has seen in a way that reflects the evolution from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, she said.

The millennium goals were introduced in 2000 and completed in 2015, focusing on developing countries, and were narrower in scope. The sustainable development goals are more "ambitious and comprehensive", looking at ending poverty, reducing inequality and protecting the planet for future generations.

Because of the similarities, the UNDP's support in China has been closely aligned with the country's national development strategies, such as that of "targeted poverty alleviation".

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