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Xi urges stepped-up efforts to eradicate poverty by 2020

By XU WEI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-23 07:02

President Xi Jinping has urged more intensified and precise poverty relief efforts to accomplish the country's goal to pull all people out of poverty by the end of 2020.

To eradicate poverty in rural areas on time is the "bottom line for China's building a well-off society in an all-round way, and also our solemn commitment", Xi said while chairing a group study session on Tuesday of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

During the session, Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, underscored the importance of stronger leadership, more funding support and better coordination between government departments and between the country's eastern and western regions.

China has vowed to lift all of its people living below the poverty line out of poverty by 2020. The country's poverty line is 2,300 yuan ($334) in annual income.

A total of 55.64 million people have been lifted out of poverty since 2013, and "the living standards of poverty-stricken people have significantly improved, and the situation of poverty-stricken areas has markedly improved", Xi said.

Despite the great achievement, more than 40 million people still live in poverty, which means that in the coming four years, China has to pull at least 10 million people out of poverty on average every year, according to official data.

Xi said that the difficulty of poverty alleviation should not be underestimated, since the people and areas that still suffer from poverty are generally poorer and face weaker backgrounds and more extreme conditions.

Areas that are suffering from extreme poverty should be prioritized to ensure that the targets can be met on time, he added.

Xi also underscored the importance of more targeted efforts to help the poor.

Local authorities were urged to develop economic entities that can help create wealth among the poor, and roll out different measures for different people, households and villages.

They should better implement support measures in education and healthcare to help poor families that suffer from serious or chronic diseases and ensure their children can receive an education, Xi said.

Authorities should also incubate rural entrepreneurship and attract talent to flow back to their hometowns to aid the local fight against poverty, he said.

During the group study session, the top leadership also heard reports from Liu Yongfu, head of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, and governors of Guizhou, Yunnan and Gansu provinces-areas that still have large impoverished populations.

Liu said at a work conference in December that China's financial input for poverty reduction hit a record high in 2016, with that from the central and provincial governments exceeding 100 billion yuan for the first time.

The country will continue to work on a number of fronts, including promoting industrial development in poor regions, giving the poor easier access to employment services, healthcare and education, and improving infrastructure in poor regions, he said.

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