China / Society

Poverty, still a difficult obstacle in China

( Updated: 2015-06-25 16:07

Poverty, still a difficult obstacle in China

Children live in the poverty-stricken Daliang Mountains, Southwest China's Sichuan province, March 25, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Entering the home of Er'ri Shujin, it takes a while for one's eyes to adapt to the darkness.

Foul smells fill the air and dung is scattered on the ground, because part of the house is used to shelter the cow. In the part where people live, a plank supported by four bricks makes up the bed and potatoes, some of which have sprouted, are boiled in a pot for lunch.

For the family of five, rice is a luxury, let alone meat, which is served on the dinner table only three times a year.

Er'ri, 45, lives in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture in Southwest China's Sichuan province. The mountainous region, with an average altitude of 1,800 meters and where half the population is ethnic Yi people, has been plagued by poverty for generations.

Many people in Liangshan live far away from economically developed areas. The area cannot be reached by modern vehicle and for many, walking is the only way to go out of the mountains.

Like Er'ri, more than 70 million Chinese people are still living in poverty, or in another word, living on slightly more than one dollar a day.

Since the country carried out the opening-up and reform policy beginning in 1978, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, but more difficult problems need to be solved in the war on poverty.

"It is an urgent job for governments to carry out more targeted, efficient and reinforced measures to fight poverty for China to become a relatively well-off country by 2020," President Xi Jinping said recently.

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