BEIJING — With more counties being lifted out of poverty, China has made concrete steps toward delivering on the country’s goal of completely eliminating poverty by 2020.
Forty counties have officially been removed from the country’s list of 125 impoverished counties after going through a rigorous evaluation, including assessments from third-party institutions, a poverty relief official said at a press conference on Aug 17.
“The 40 counties have reached a milestone by having the ‘impoverished’ label removed,” said Xia Gengsheng, deputy head of the Leading Group Office on Poverty Alleviation and Development under the State Council.
Southwest China’s Sichuan province saw 10 counties removed from the list. The rest come from Jiangxi, Heilongjiang, Hunan and Shanxi provinces.
A county can be removed from the list if less than 2 percent of its population is below the national poverty line, defined as a per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan ($348) at 2010 prices. In western regions, counties must have less than 3 percent of residents living in poverty to be removed from the list.
But removal from the list does not mean poverty relief efforts end, according to Xia, who promised continued favorable policies, subsidies and financial support as well as supervision to ensure further development of these areas.
Authorities will announce evaluation results on the remaining 85 counties in September.
Over the past five years, more than 68 million people have been lifted out of poverty, including a total of 8.3 million relocated from inhospitable areas, and the poverty ratio has dropped from 10.2 to 3.1 percent, according to this year’s government work report.
The country aims to lift a further 10 million people out of poverty this year and eradicate poverty by 2020.