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China stresses officials’ poverty-relief responsibilities

Updated: Oct 18,2016 9:49 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Heads of impoverished counties in China will not be promoted or transferred to other posts unless the counties shake off poverty, according to an official statement released on Oct 17.

To achieve its goal of eliminating poverty by 2020, China unveiled measures to stress officials’ poverty alleviation responsibilities, stating that governments of different levels should work with different emphases according to their respective responsibilities, said the statement jointly published by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council will be mainly responsible for policy-making; provincial governments will formulate local plans; while city and county governments will perform the main functions, the statement said.

The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development will create a big data platform for targeted poverty alleviation in order to help different departments share information and improve supervision.

Major provincial leaders should annually report poverty relief progress to the central leadership, and a system of reward and punishment should also be established.

The measures are applicable to 22 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China’s middle and west regions starting from Oct 11, 2016, said the statement.

The more developed eastern regions should gradually increase input to assist the poverty-stricken areas in the middle and west regions, it said.

China has entered a crucial stage in its poverty reduction efforts, though the fight against poverty remains tough despite remarkable past achievements, according to the white paper, “China’s Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights,” published by the State Council Information Office on Oct 17.

By the end of 2015, China had 55.75 million people living in poverty, equivalent to the entire population of a medium-sized country. The country plans to eradicate poverty by 2020.

To this end, China has pledged to lift 10 million people out of poverty every year from 2016 through developing specialty industries, transfer employment, relocation and extended social security coverage.