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Tailor-made solutions have poverty alleviation sewn up

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-23 07:32

Women take part in an embroidery class in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region's Horqin Right Wing Middle Banner to learn how to decorate clothes, slippers and pillowcases with traditional designs. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Government-run embroidery classes are among the measures being used to raise living standards, as Cui Jia reports from Beijing with Yuan Hui in Horqin Right Wing Middle Banner, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Mu Dan is proud that she can now produce all kinds of traditional Mongolian embroidery, much as her mother did. Even better, the 40-year-old farmer in Horqin Right Wing Middle Banner, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, is excited that her newly developed skills can lift her family out of poverty.

The banner, a county-level settlement, lies at the north of the grassland in Horqin, and 86 percent of its population hails from the Mongolian ethnic group. Horqin means "archer" in Mongolian.

The area is affected by severe desertification and a fragile environment, which means that farmers such as Mu are constantly concerned that their land will be hit by natural disasters that could leave them destitute and starving.

After years of problems, the banner was placed on a list of areas of the most poverty-stricken places in the country.

However, as a result of initiatives promoted by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and president of China, the list won't exist after 2020 because all the residents who live below the current poverty line, including Mu, will be lifted out of poverty by then.

"Ensuring that poor people and impoverished areas will enter the 'moderately prosperous' society along with the rest of the country is a solemn promise made by our Party," Xi said, when he delivered a report to the 19th CPC National Congress on Wednesday.

He added that poverty alleviation measures should reach the people who truly need them and must deliver genuine outcomes.

In June, at a conference to discuss poverty alleviation measures and solutions with top officials from impoverished areas, including Horqin, Xi said lifting people out of poverty is one of the tasks to which he has devoted the most attention.

During the first five years of his term as president, Xi has visited the 14 poorest parts of the country, and more than 30 of his 50-plus investigative visits nationwide have been related to poverty relief.

The task is a formidable one. Winning the battle in areas of extreme poverty will be difficult, but with enough determination and the right measures, China can secure that victory, he said.

Mu, from the banner, explained how the local conditions have pushed her family into poverty. "In a good year, my husband and I can earn about 20,000 yuan a year by selling our crops. However, Inner Mongolia experienced a severe drought last year so we almost had no income," she said.

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