China’s successful practice in eliminating extreme poverty is a great contribution to the cause of global poverty alleviation

ABOVE: Solar panels with a view of Chongqing, China. (PHOTO: iStock)

By Cong Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada

I have noticed that people from all walks of life in Canada are very interested in the issue of sustainable development. Poverty eradication is the top priority of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a common challenge for the whole world. In the context of the arduous task of global poverty reduction and the widening gap between the rich and the poor in some countries, China will remain an advocator, facilitator, and contributor to the international cause of poverty reduction. While committed to eradicating its own poverty, China has made significant contributions to the global cause of poverty alleviation as well as human development and progress.

China’s success in eliminating extreme poverty has greatly accelerated global poverty alleviation. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, China has fought a decisive battle against poverty that is unprecedented in scale, intensity, and the number of people it has benefited throughout the human history. At the end of 2020, China achieved the goal of eliminating extreme poverty — a key goal for the new era of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The 98.99 million people in rural areas who were living below the current poverty threshold all shook off poverty; all the 128,000 impoverished villages and 832 designated poor counties got rid of poverty. China has eliminated poverty in these regions. In February 2021, at the National Poverty Alleviation Summary and Commendation Conference, General Secretary Xi Jinping solemnly declared that China had secured a comprehensive victory in the fight against poverty, and had completed the arduous task of eradicating extreme poverty — an outstanding and historic achievement. China is home to nearly one fifth of the world’s population. By eradicating extreme poverty, China realized a century-long aspiration of the Chinese people. It is a milestone in the history of the Chinese nation and the history of humankind. China has achieved the poverty alleviation goal set on the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, significantly reducing the world’s impoverished population.

China attaches importance to exchanges and cooperation in poverty reduction and has strongly supported the global cause of poverty alleviation. China has taken an active part in global poverty manegement, furthered exchanges and cooperation with other countries, and promoted a new model of international exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation, with mutual respect and mutually-beneficial cooperation at its core. This is how China contributes to building a global community of shared future that is free from poverty and blessed with common prosperity. Over the past 70 years and more, China has provided assistance in various forms to over 160 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe, and international organizations, provided debt relief for relevant countries, and helped a vast number of developing countries with their poverty alleviation. China has joined hands with various countries in a large number of international poverty alleviation cooperation projects that benefit local people. The country has also carried out exchanges and cooperation on poverty reduction in various forms, including building platforms, organizing training, and conducting think tank exchanges. Since 2012, China has held over 130 international training sessions, attended by officials from 116 countries and organizations.

China has made unremitting efforts in poverty alleviation and explored a poverty reduction path with Chinese characteristics, offering enlightenment to the international community’s battle against poverty. China’s successful practice and valuable experience in eliminating extreme poverty have deepened human understanding of poverty alleviation, enriched and extended the theory of international poverty alleviation, and has served as the reference for other countries to choose a suitable path of poverty alleviation. The precious experience includes: people-centered philosophy; highlighting poverty alleviation in the governance of China; eradicating poverty through development; pressing ahead with poverty alleviation based on reality; letting the poor play the principal role; pooling all resources to create synergy. A World Bank report suggests that by 2030, Belt and Road Initiative could help lift 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty across the world.

The world today is experiencing a scale of change unseen in a century. The Covid-19 pandemic is still spreading around the world. And poverty, hunger and disease are undermining people’s pursuit for a better life. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the world population living in extreme poverty will exceed 1 billion by 2030 due to the epidemic. Thus, realizing global poverty eradication is still an ongoing battle. China and Canada have a lot to share in eradicating poverty. It is our common aspiration to pursue a better life. China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in poverty reduction with other countries, including Canada, and to jointly promote international poverty reduction.