Seeking Happiness for People: 70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China
Total grain output soared from 113.18 million tons in 1949 to 657.89 million tons in 2018, and the area of irrigated farmland from 15.94 million ha in 1949 to 68.1 million ha in 2018. China's output of grain, meat, peanut, tea, and fruit has topped the world for many years. China feeds approximately 20 percent of the world's population using 6.6 percent of the fresh water resources and 9 percent of the arable land of the world; it has succeeded in improving nutrition and eradicating hunger.
Absolute poverty eliminated. Poverty is the biggest obstacle to fulfilling the human rights of the Chinese people. In the past, the world knew an old, weak China mired in poverty, its people living in dire misery. Since the founding of the PRC, the CPC and the Chinese government have led the people in a great fight to eliminate poverty, highlighted by a campaign which since 1978, the year when reform and opening up was launched, has focused on development-oriented poverty alleviation in rural areas. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has taken poverty elimination as the primary task, made it a defining indicator in completing a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and laid out plans to win the final battle against poverty. It has been made clear that by 2020 there must be no more rural people living below the current poverty line and no more impoverished counties, and regional poverty must be eradicated. The 19th CPC National Congress has made new plans for targeted poverty eradication, one of the three final tasks that must be accomplished to achieve all-round moderate prosperity.
Between 1978 and 2018 the number of rural poor fell from 770 million to 16.6 million calculated against China's poverty line set in 2010, and the incidence of poverty in rural areas dropped from 97.5 percent to 1.7 percent. More than 10 million people rose and remained above the poverty line every year from 2012 to 2018. With the highest number of people moving out of poverty, China was the first developing country to realize one of the UN Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction. This achievement represented 70 percent of the global poverty reduction effort.