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Strengthen sharing of China’s experience in poverty reduction to boost the Global Development Initiative

By Li Xiaoyun, Xu Xiuli | People's Daily Online | Updated: 2022-06-28 09:42

Abuluoha village, China's last village without a road, is connected to the outside world with its new road in Butuo county, Sichuan province as seen in June. [Photo/XINHUA]

During the past 100 years, the international community has provided a wealth of global public goods in the course of poverty reduction and development, including relatively systematic global poverty reduction governance frameworks, standard systems for measuring poverty, data systems for monitoring poverty, and policy toolkits with targeting measures for eliminating poverty, bringing down global incidence of extreme poverty from nearly 40 percent in the 1990s to less than 10 percent in 2020. In recent years, however, global poverty reduction has faced severe challenges due to the impact of climate change, the global epidemic, regional conflicts and financial crisis. Data from UNDP show that by 2030, the total number of people living in extreme poverty is expected to rise by more than 200 million, totaling more than 1 billion. In this context, supply and governance of global public goods face an urgent need to be transformed.

In 2020, China achieved Goal 1 of eradicating extreme poverty set in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ten years ahead of schedule, contributing to over 70 percent of the global poverty reduction, which offers useful inspiration for the global poverty reduction course. China, a learner, beneficiary and innovator of the world’s experience in poverty reduction, is increasingly becoming a proponent, practitioner and promoter of poverty reduction in the world. China, as its experience in poverty reduction and development becomes an important asset for the international community in poverty eradication, provides a diverse, applicable and accessible portfolio of public goods for global poverty reduction to improve the global governance system for poverty reduction and contribute to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.

To better promote the international exchanges and cooperation based on China’s poverty reduction experience, it is necessary to build on China’s poverty reduction practices since reform and opening up, especially the successful experience of targeted poverty alleviation, and summarize the modes of international exchanges and implementation of China’s poverty reduction experience in the past decade, so as to better share China’s experience with other countries and contribute to the implementation of Global Development Initiative.

I. Ideas on international sharing of China's poverty reduction experience: parallel experience sharing

China’s vivid practices in poverty reduction have fostered rich poverty reduction studies in China, at the core of which are the goal of common prosperity, precise means, a market benefiting the poor where the government, the market and society make concerted efforts, measures to unleash the productivity of the poor, and a guideline of making them not only beneficiaries of distribution, but also contributors to growth, so as to promote the social development in a more balanced and equitable manner.

However, how to effectively share experience in poverty reduction with other countries has remained a concern of all countries and the international community. When sharing poverty reduction experience, China adopts a parallel experience sharing theory which is different from Western countries, which has three core elements. First, experience shared should be practical and accessible in line with the development stages of the time and place, rather than highly abstract, values-oriented, or ahead of the local development stage. Second, modes shared are the products of mutual learning and inspiration, rather than unilaterally prescribing medicine and providing fixed patterns and templates. Third, the relationship between the sharing parties is a partnership featuring equality and mutual benefit, rather than a one-way give and take relationship. Autonomy and sense of ownership of partners are respected, with focus on innovation and win-win result.

II. International sharing model of China's poverty reduction experience: uniting global partners to focus on development

China has established extensive cooperation and exchange platforms with countries in different regions of the world, including China-Africa, China-ASEAN, China-Latin America, China-Arab states, China-Europe and other platforms established by the 1+N mechanism, as well as global or regional exchange and sharing mechanisms established in cooperation with the UN, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and other international organizations. Through these frameworks and platforms, China has carried out fruitful exchanges and cooperation on poverty reduction for more than a decade, issuing a wealth of knowledge products on the progress and experience of poverty reduction in China and specific regions, such as the Global Forum on Poverty Reduction and Development, FOCAC Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference, CELAC-China Forum on Poverty Reduction and Development, ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction, ASEAN+3 village official exchange program, and China-East Asia Poverty Reduction Demonstration Cooperation Technical Assistance Project. In different regions, China has promoted practical cooperation in economic development, such as trade, investment and aid that meet the needs of both sides through long-term collective dialogue and discussion. In this process, China has tried to demonstrate its experience in poverty reduction and development in other developing countries, integrating its successful practice with the local realities of poverty reduction and development to accelerate the local poverty reduction.

While uniting countries and partners from different regions of the world to focus on development, and guided by a global multilateral system based on the United Nations, China has shared experience of development based on the realities of different regions, contributing to the progress of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

III. New mechanism for international sharing of China's poverty reduction experience: Global Alliance for Poverty Reduction and Development

China has put forward the Global Development Initiative, giving to priority to poverty reduction. China, despite the pandemic, successfully eliminated absolute poverty. This achievement, combined with China’s actions and results of consolidating the achievements of the fight against poverty and advancing rural revitalization after 2020, has drawn wide attention from the international community. To better study, exchange and share China’s experience in poverty reduction and development in the new context, promote mutual learning, and provide the international community with public goods for poverty reduction and development, China announced the establishment of the Global Alliance for Poverty Reduction and Development at the High-level Dialogue on Global Development. It is hoped that relevant international organizations, government agencies, think tanks, social organizations and enterprises committed to global poverty reduction will join China in the cause to build consensus, put forward proposals, exchange experience, and promote cooperation. The Alliance will continue with parallel experience sharing, unite global partners, promote localization of international experience and international demands through extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and push international sharing of China’s poverty reduction and development experience. In this way, the Alliance will pool forces to jointly promote the building of a global community of shared future for poverty reduction and development, contributing to the implementation of the Global Development Initiative.

The authors are professors from College of Humanities and Development/College of International Development and Global Agriculture, China Agricultural University.

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