Xi claims credit for China’s decades of poverty relief

Published (HKT): 2021.04.07 05:30

Beijing sang the praises of Chinese President Xi Jinping for “completing” a decades-long campaign to improve the livelihoods of the poor and significantly downplayed contributions made by Hong Kong and foreign countries.

Chinese officials on Tuesday claimed “victory” in reducing the population of the poor and dedicated the success to efforts “led, planned and directed” by Xi, in the latest national report on poverty relief issued by the chief administrative authority, the State Council.

Only a few lines were expended on the role of international aid. China’s cooperation with the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and other international organizations was credited with helping in some poverty relief projects in the report, entitled “Poverty alleviation: China’s experience and contribution.”

Details of these organizations and projects were omitted from the report, as were financial assistance given by Hongkongers over the decades to students in the mainland’s rural areas and to disaster relief work.

The report compared the population of people living under the poverty line in 2020 with figures in the late 1970s, when the country embarked on a reform and opening-up drive.

It said 770 million rural residents had risen above the poverty line during the past three decades. This accounted for more than 70% of impoverished people around the globe over the same period by the World Bank’s standards, the report claimed.

Between 2013 and 2020, the living standards of China’s rural poor improved significantly, the report said, with their average expendable income increasing from 6,079 yuan to 12,588 yuan.

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