China's President Xi Jinping officially declared Thursday that the country has completed its arduous task of eradicating extreme poverty, saying 98.99 million people have been lifted out of poverty over the past eight years.
”Today we solemnly declare (...) complete success in the fight against poverty at home, Xi said at a ceremony at Beijing's Great Hall of the People in front of thousands of delegates who filled the auditorium. The president stressed that regional poverty issues have been resolved so China has completed its arduous task of eradicating extreme poverty, creating another incredible miracle.
He also indicated that 832 rural counties and 128,000 villages have been taken off the poverty list under current standards” and stressed that this goal is announced in 2021, the centennial year of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Since China launched the reform and opening-up program in the late 1970s, the country would have lifted 770 million people out of poverty, with the Asian giant contributing to about 70% of global poverty reduction during that period.
In 2012, China set itself the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2020, ten years ahead of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. According to the president, the eradication of extreme poverty has been possible with a realistic and pragmatic approach and thanks to the political advantages of the socialist system, which can pool the necessary resources to undertake great tasks.
China has invested nearly 1.6 trillion yuan ($246 billion) in the past eight years in the fight against poverty, Xi said. About three million people have worked in the country's rural areas under the program. China set the extreme poverty line in 2019 at 4,000 yuan a year, which is $1.6 a day while the one set by the World Bank in 2015 is $1.9 a day. According to Chinese Poverty Reduction Office officials, the country's threshold calculated in real purchasing power accounts for $2.2 per day.