Head of the Mission of China to African Union (AU)
Recently, Chinese government released the white paper: Poverty Alleviation: China’s Experience and Contribution. It truly records China’s grand history of eliminating extreme poverty from five aspects, comprehensively introduces China’s exploration and practice of poverty reduction, and fully shares China’s way of poverty alleviation, which has attracted extensive attention from the international community.
China is the largest developing country and Africa is a continent with the largest number of developing countries. We may say, China’s poverty alleviation practices have explored new paths for poverty reduction in Africa and provided experience for reference.
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 over entire regions, eradicated extreme poverty and achieved the ‘mission impossible’. I would like to share three points with my African friends about poverty alleviation in China:
First, the root cause of success of Chinese poverty alleviation is the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC.
No matter how the domestic and international situation changes, the Party has always followed a people-centered philosophy. It has borne in mind its founding mission to seek happiness for the Chinese people and national rejuvenation, and united and led the people in fighting poverty with firm convictions and a strong will.
Plenty of Party members have worked with diligence and a spirit of dedication to gain people’s happiness. More than 1,800 Party members and officials have lost their lives in the cause of poverty alleviation, fulfilling their mission and their pledge to the people. China’s poverty elimination effort in the new era is the full and vivid expression of the CPC’s mission of serving the people wholeheartedly.
Second, the reason why China could succeed in the fight against poverty is because China’s poverty alleviation covered all Chinese people. No one has got rid of poverty until all have got rid of poverty, no one shall be left behind on the road of poverty elimination.
In the five autonomous regions and the three provinces with a large multi-ethnic population, which include Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the number of the poor dropped by an accumulate total of 15.6 million. Extreme poverty was eliminated in all 28 minority ethnic groups with a small population.
In Xinjiang Autonomous Region, all the 3666 impoverished villages and 32 designated poor counties got rid of poverty, thus over 3 million people living in poverty shook it off.
Under great efforts made by the Chinese government, there have been no violent terrorist incidents in Xinjiang for more than 4 consecutive years, which provides solid foundation for Xinjiang’s poverty elimination. People of all ethnic groups cherish this hard-won stable life.
Some Western media can not appreciate China’s efforts and achievements in poverty alleviation and counter-terrorism in Xinjiang. Without any evidence, they accuse China of ‘genocide’. Their purpose is to vilify China’s image, destabilize China, and contain China’s development. The Chinese government and people are firmly opposed to any external forces interfering in China’s internal affairs with the context of Xinjiang-related issues, and are determined to defend national sovereignty, security, and development interests.
Third, China’s success in poverty alleviation has also injected a ‘heart booster’ into the cause of poverty reduction in the world. Poverty is a chronic affliction of human society. It brings out associated problems, including hunger, diseases, and social conflicts, which seriously impede people’s pursuit of a better life. It is a common challenge faced by all mankind.
China is home to nearly one fifth of the world’s population. Its complete eradication of extreme poverty – the first target of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 10 years ahead of schedule, is a milestone in the history of the Chinese nation, which also makes an important contribution to the cause of global poverty alleviation.
The practice of poverty reduction in China shows that poverty is not destined, nor invincible. The valuable experience that China has explored in its poverty reduction practice is the common wealth of China and Africa.
China would like to actively share its poverty alleviation experience and continue to work with Africa as good brothers who support each other, good partners for common development, and good comrades-in-arms who share weal and woe. We will work together to eradicate extreme poverty, and promote the construction of China-Africa community with a shared future.