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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion -> 
More needs to be done to uproot poverty
    2015-06-29  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Lei Xiangping

    lagon235@163.com

    SINCE China launched reform and opening up, the country has lifted 700 million people out of poverty, and its miraculous achievements in poverty alleviation have been praised as a good example for developing countries. Since China has become the second-largest economy, many people could assume that poverty in China is no longer an issue.

    However, the crucial reality proves otherwise: China still has 70 million rural people living below the poverty line of US$1 a day, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. To achieve China’s goal of becoming a better-off society by 2020, more needs to be done to uproot poverty.

    According to Wang Sangui, an anti-poverty expert from Renmin University of China, building a better-off society means that every person must have enough food and clothing, affordable medical care, livable housing and be guaranteed a basic education. These goals are basic, but as the most populous country, it is not easy for China to make these basic services available to every citizen in a short time.

    A recent report by Xinhua News Agency showed just how poorly many Chinese people still live. One example was that of an Yi ethnic farmer from Daliangshan City, Sichuan Province, whose family lived under the same roof as their cow. In their decades-old thatched shack, half was used as a cattle pen and the other half was for a shabby bed and a simple stove. There was no other furniture, and the whole family ate potatoes all year round, only having meat with their meals three times a year.

    The farmer’s story ironically reveals an ugly aspect of China’s decades-long fast development: Many rural people haven’t benefited from the fruits of reform and opening up, and poverty still prevails in some parts of the country.

    Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, says that the Chinese Government should not be overly optimistic about its anti-poverty achievements. He said there are still five adverse factors contributing to poverty: poor roads, electricity shortages, bad housing conditions, limited educational resources and insufficient medical services — all of which need to be addressed in the coming years.

    However, further reducing poverty faces tremendous challenges. First, China has a large number of poor people. The total number in Henan, Hunan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Sichuan and Guizhou alone exceeds 30 million. Second, the remaining poor are scattered over a wide territory and the causes of their poverty are varied, which means one-for-all anti-poverty solutions will not help everyone. Third, poverty remains deeply rooted in some places — tens of millions of rural families have no access to clean water; 77,000 villages out of the country’s 835,000 villages can’t be reached by public transportation; approximately 10 million villagers need to be relocated because of worsening living conditions; astronomical medical expenses are the cause of poverty for 40 percent of China’s poor.

    

    Despite the economic growth of past decades, the Chinese Government can’t just be satisfied with its glorious past. Instead, it should innovate ways to uproot poverty and become more determined to lift more people out of poverty.

    It has been noticed, however, that the government is employing targeted measures to ensure assistance reaches poverty-stricken villages and households effectively. This solution emphasizes first finding out the real reasons for poverty and then taking practical measures to help the poor. It also makes use of Big Data to establish a nationwide registration system that can identify poverty-stricken people and give them the assistance they need. Another thing worth mentioning is that several anti-poverty departments are joining hands by consolidating their resources and sharing their information, which makes anti-poverty initiatives more effective and efficient.

    Determination is also needed to fight poverty. During a visit to Guizhou on June 18, President Xi Jinping reiterated that poverty alleviation remains an arduous task and urged government departments to seize the opportunity to lift China’s remaining 70 million poor out of poverty. When our strength is united, poverty reduction is within our reach.

    (The author is an editor with the News Desk at China Radio International.)

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