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New Progress in the Cause of Poverty Alleviation in China
February 14,2017   By:CSHRS
New Progress in the Cause of Poverty Alleviation in China

 The State Council Poverty Alleviation Office
 
Poverty elimination has always been an ideal constantly pursued by mankind since ancient times, and a basic right for people in each country to seek a happy life. Comprehensive guarantee of asic rights of the people in poverty is an important part of National Human Rights Action. Since the adoption of the policy of reform and opening up (in 1978), China has launched large-scale development-oriented poverty reduction programs in rural areas, lifting more than 700 million people in rural poverty-stricken areas out of poverty and writing yet another splendid chapter in human history against poverty. Since the convention of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Central Committee of the CPC with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary has included the tough battle of poverty alleviation into national strategic planning, and has implemented on a full scale the basic strategy of targeted poverty alleviation.  The Decision of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Winning the Tough Battle against Poverty adopted at the end of 2015 makes new planning and mobilization for the tough battle of poverty alleviation. In accordance with the current standard of support for people in poverty in China, from 2012 to 2015, the rural population in poverty in China has fallen from 98.99 million to 55.75 million and the poverty incidence has fallen from 10.2 percent to 5.7 percent. There has been all-round development of the socioeconomic causes in poverty-stricken regions. In 2015, the per capita income of farmers in poverty-stricken regions reached 6,828 yuan. For many years in a row the annual growth rate of per capita income of farmers in poverty-stricken regions has overtaken the average level of annual per capital income of farmers in all rural areas across China. The full-scale promotion of the tough battle of poverty alleviation has vigorously promoted realization of the basic rights of the people in poverty and has made contribution to to the progress of China’s human rights cause. The approaches adopted therefor mainly include the following. 
 
I. Practical Strengthening of Leadership and Organization, and Continued Reform and Innovation of Both Systems and Mechanisms for the Tough Battle of Poverty Alleviation
 
The Party and the government practically strengthen the organization and leadership over the tough battle of poverty alleviation, innovate mechanisms for targeted poverty alleviation, and assign poverty alleviation obligations to ensure the political and economic rights of the impoverished population. The first is to strengthen the system of responsibility for leadership over the tough battle of poverty alleviation, with the establishment of a system of responsibility in which the Central Authorities make overall planning therefor, the relevant provinces (including autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government) take full charge thereof, and cities (including prefectures) and counties oversee implementation thereof. It requires that chief leaders of the Party committees and governments at different levels sign letters of responsibility for the tough battle of poverty alleviation, and that chief Communist Party and government leaders in poverty-stricken regions focus their main energy on poverty alleviation, to form a situation that the Communist Party committee secretaries at the provincial, municipal, county, town and village levels work hard on reducing poverty and that the entire CPC is mobilized to promote fulfillment of the hard job of poverty alleviation. The second is to innovate new working mechanisms. Performance assessment mechanisms should be improved, taking poverty alleviation as a major target and making a good use of policies as guides. The mechanism of designating cadres to all impoverished villages to provide aid in poverty alleviation needs to be perfected, with selective designation of 128,000 taskforces grouping 530,000 cadres to villages nationwide, to basically realize full coverage of all poverty-stricken villages across the country. Restrictive mechanisms are to be enforced. Any extravagance and waste in poverty-stricken counties is seriously prohibited.. A poverty exit mechanism is to be developed, with the making of strict, proper and transparent standards and procedures for exit from poverty and measures for verification thereof. The third is to increase fiscal funds for poverty alleviation. The Central Government finance actively adjusts the structure of the expense and keeps increasing financial support for poverty-stricken regions. Since 2012, fiscal funds specifically earmarked for poverty alleviation have reached a total of 189.84 billion yuan, with an annual growth rate of 14.5 percent. In particular, the amount of exclusive poverty-alleviation funds earmarked from the Central Government finance in 2016 increased by 43.4 percent over the previous year. At the same time, the local government finances at different levels also actively improve the expense structure to support the economic and social development in poverty-stricken regions.
 
II. Execution of Taxonomic Guidance over Implementation of Targeted Poverty Alleviation, with Remarkable Promotion of the Level of Income of the Poverty-stricken Population
 
China keeps strengthening support to the poverty-stricken population by creating profiles for the poverty-stricken population to get a correct number of the people in poverty, analyzing the reason leading to poverty and development requirement, conducting taxonomic guidance, and carrying out the policy of targeted poverty alleviation, to guarantee their democratic rights and right to survival. The first is to make precise identification, create profiles and make sure the correct number of the poverty-stricken population. In 2014, a total of 128,000 poverty-stricken villages, 29.49 million poor families and 89.62 million poor people underwent identification and registration. Since last year, the State has been organizing the creation of files and registration cards for the purpose of review, and has been making comparison with  corresponding statistics from All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF), the State Ethnic Affairs Commission (SEAC) and China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF) to enhance the precision of identification and registration. During the process of creating files and registration cards, people’s right to be informed and the right of participation are ensured by the measures of application by poverty-stricken farm households, democratic evaluation, public announcement and level-to-level examination. The second is to develop industries with special characteristics to alleviate poverty. That means to adopt effective measures on the basis of the realities in poverty-stricken regions to practically launch industries with special characteristics to alleviate poverty. In the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), the State allocated agricultural infrastructure construction funds and exclusive fiscal funds of 122 billion yuan to contiguous poverty-stricken regions. Driven by the operation of industries with special characteristics, the income of farmers in poverty-stricken regions has kept increasing. The third is to alleviate poverty by labor transfer. That means to strengthen vocational education, implement the YULU (Rain and Dew) Poverty-Alleviation Program, provide public employment service, carry out the policy of entrepreneurship support and help poor labors in employment and entrepreneurship, so as to guarantee their right to work. The fourth is to alleviate poverty by relocation and migration. Since 2012, subsidy funds from the Central Government to the tune of 17 billion yuan have been earmarked, which has led to the investment of 7.351 billion yuan of various types, and which has led to the relocation of 2.84 million people, to safeguard their right to survive. And, the fifth is to establish and perfect a mechanism for ecological compensation. That means to actively promote the work of ecological compensation in poverty-stricken areas, further raise the standards for forest ecological efficiency compensation and increase the forest coverage rate. The mechanism for rewarding grassland ecological protection needs to be improved, to enhance a shift of traditional husbandry to modern one in poverty-stricken regions. 
 
III. Strengthening of Infrastructure Construction Leading to Remarkable Improvement of Production Conditions in Poverty-stricken Regions
 
The State Council Poverty Alleviation Office and other competent departments concerned vigrously support infrastructure construction and improve the development environment and conditions in poverty-stricken regions to realize the right to development of the poverty-stricken population there, with promotion of the construction of infrastructure for transportation. During the “12th Five-Year Plan” period (2011-2015), the State allocated over 550 billion yuan in funding for the vehicle purchase tax, which brought about private investment to the tune of nearly 2,000 billion yuan, and which quickened the pace in the construction of infrastructure for transportation in poverty-stricken regions, , with most of the townships and officially established villages paved with tarmac (or cement) roads. The construction of water conservancy facilities has been stepped up. A total of 237.5 billion yuan in Central Government funding for  water conservancy in poverty-stricken regions was earmarked, which contributed to solving the problem of drinking water safety for 115 million people in safeguarding the right to water of the poverty-stricken population. Poor people without electric power supply have gained access to electricity. The work of poverty alleviation with photovoltaic electric power generation has been launched, with the operation of pilot projects thereof in six provincial-level regions nationwide. Meanwhile, the “hematopoietic” capacity of poverty-stricken regions has been enhanced by means of poverty alleviation through returns on assets. The construction of communication infrastructure has been stepped up, with 100 percent of the administrative villages having access to telephone service and 100 percent of the towns and townships having access to the broad band Internet, which serves as a powerful support for industrial development in poverty-stricken regions. Efforts have been made for the renovation of dilapidated or dangerous rural housing and the environment for dwelling. The State has earmarked a total of 155.67 billion yuan to support 19.974 million poverty-stricken farm households in the renovation of dilapidated or dangerous rural housing.
 
IV. Strengthening of Social Security Undertakings Leading to Remarkable Improvement of the Living Standards of the Poverty-stricken Population 
 
Great efforts have been made to strengthen poverty alleviation through education. Focused on poverty-stricken regions and the poverty-stricken population, projects of poverty alleviation through education have been launched, which has led to remarkable improvement of the conditions for operating compulsory education in poverty-stricken regions, and the project of nutrition improvement in compulsory education in rural areas, exemption of tuition for students receiving secondary vocational education and the policy of providing living allowances for boarding school students have fully covered all students from poverty-stricken regions, to guarantee their right to receive education. Poverty reduction by means of medical insurance and medical aid schemes has been launched. That means to greatly promote efforts for poverty alleviation through healthcare, improve basic medical service, to guarantee the right to health of the poverty-stricken population and strive to prevent poverty resulting from illness and return to poverty as a result of illness. The new type of rural cooperative medical care scheme has covered over 97 percent of the rural residents while over one billion urban residents have participated in the scheme of urban and the rural medical insurance for critical diseases. The minimum subsistence guarantee system for rural areas has been put into implementation, and has been effectively aligned with the development-oriented poverty reduction policy, in striving to realize guarantee thereof with government policy. In 2015, the rural minimum subsistence guarantee system for rural areas covered 49.032 million people all over the country, with the average amount of minimum subsistence allowance reaching 265 yuan per person per month, and with the average amount of relief reaching145 yuan per person per month.
 
Over the past four years, China has achieved marvelous progress in the cause of fighting the tough battle of poverty alleviation, promoting effective guarantee of the basic rights of the poverty-stricken population and actively contributing to the development of the cause of human rights protection in China. Up to 2020, China will realize the target of fully lifting 55.75 million people out of poverty in rural areas. The national poverty-alleviation system will strive to do a good job thereof wholeheartedly, with feelings and by exerting all efforts, to resolutely fight to win the tough battle of poverty alleviation, and to make new and greater contribution to promoting progress in the cause of human rights!