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Number living in poverty down by 80% in six years

Updated: Nov 1,2018 6:56 PM

Farmers collect apples in Ansai district of Yan’an. Apple cultivation plays an important role in the city’s poverty alleviation efforts. Apple products in the city account for one-ninth of China’s total. [Photo/China Daily]

The number of Chinese living in poverty, which stood at more than 98 million at the end of 2012, will have been reduced by 80 percent by the end of this year, a senior official said on Nov 1.

Around half the country’s 832 poverty-stricken counties will no longer be listed as underdeveloped by then, according to Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

“Development is the basis of poverty reduction, but development does not extinguish poverty automatically,” he said. “China has been fighting poverty alongside developing it economy, attempting to avoid widening the wealth gap and falling into the middle-income trap.”

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Forum on Reform and Opening-up and Poverty Reduction in China, which opened in Beijing on Nov 1.

More than 400 people attended the opening ceremony, including government officials, scholars, business leaders and representatives from 51 countries and 11 international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank Group.

The theme for the forum is “International Cooperation on Poverty Reduction: Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.”

China has pledged to eradicate extreme poverty domestically by the end of 2020 to honor the centenary of the Communist Party of China in 2021.

But Liu noted that relative poverty will continue to exist in China and poverty reduction will remain an arduous job for a long time.

“We are willing to learn from other countries’ experience in fighting poverty and promote international exchanges in the sector,” he said.

The forum is being hosted by Liu’s office, along with the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department, the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank Group.