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CPC at center of 'epic achievement'

By ZHAO XINYING | China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-19 10:52
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Robert Lawrence Kuhn [Photo provided to China Daily]

Having lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, China's poverty alleviation has been an "epic achievement" and the leadership and organizational capacity of the Communist Party of China has played a key role during the process, an expert said on Thursday.

"Just as future historians may well look upon China's fight against the coronavirus as a turning point in worldwide efforts to contain outbreaks of novel diseases, future historians may well recognize China's fight against poverty as a turning point in worldwide efforts to eradicate extreme poverty," Robert Lawrence Kuhn said.

The chairman of The Kuhn Foundation and a winner of the China Reform Friendship Medal made the remarks on Thursday at the Vision China event hosted by China Daily.

Having told the nation's story to the world for more than 30 years, Kuhn said although it has many achievements, none represents the real China, and none is as powerful as the commitment to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of last year.

"China's poverty alleviation is the best story to undermine biases and disrupt stereotypes about China," he said.

For foreigners who marveled at how China contained the novel coronavirus compared with other countries, Kuhn said the common root of that success and the victory over extreme poverty was the CPC's leadership and organizational capacity.

Kuhn said three key factors can be seen in both successes: the commitment of Party General Secretary Xi Jinping; the CPC not just giving directives or making announcements, but implementing programs and projects through its organizational structure; and the mobilization capacity of the Party, including commanding personnel and materials.

Understanding how the leadership of the CPC enabled the fulfillment of the poverty alleviation mission is especially important, given China's increasing role in international affairs, he said.

Kuhn conceded that he did not appreciate all that was required for poverty alleviation until he visited poor regions, especially remote mountain villages, and spoke with impoverished residents to hear their stories.

Many of his findings were presented in his TV documentary, Voices from the Frontline: China's War on Poverty.

"I was startled to discover that every poor family in China has its own file, each with its 'targeted' plan to lift each above the line of absolute poverty-that's millions of poor families with customized plans, each checked monthly, recorded on paper and digitized for central compilation and analysis," he said.

To set targeted measures for poverty alleviation and carry out customized plans was proposed by Xi in November 2013. More than 100 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty over the past eight years.

"Every impoverished household is guaranteed help, and every impoverished village has a designated official to carry out targeted measures. Five levels of local Party secretaries coordinate their roles-provincial, municipal, county, township, village," he said.

"Third-party evaluations are conducted regularly and randomly to assure accuracy and honesty," he added.

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