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China and Africa Shall Share Poverty Reduction Experience to Create a Better Life for the People

Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping solemnly declared that China has scored a complete victory in its fight against extreme poverty as the Chinese people are about to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Despite the pandemic unseen in a century and the devastating floods, China has managed to achieve its poverty alleviation goals as scheduled, lifting nearly 100 million rural population out of abject poverty, realizing the poverty reduction goals set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, thus creating a miracle in the history of poverty reduction of humankind. This is not only an important milestone in China’s own development, but also provides confidence, experience and inspiration for the vast number of developing countries, including African countries, to shake off absolute poverty.

China’s poverty alleviation experience has injected new impetus into the global poverty reduction cause. As the largest developing country in the world, China has always given top priority to poverty alleviation in its state governance. Since the reform and opening up, China has lifted more than 850 million people out of poverty, contributing more than 70 percent to global total in this regard. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that China has made the biggest contribution to global poverty reduction, which will go down as a glorious chapter in the history of poverty reduction of humankind, and inject strong momentum into the global poverty reduction cause.

While advancing its own poverty reduction process, China has been providing assistance to other developing countries to the best of its capability. Under the framework of South-South cooperation, China has provided over 400 billion RMB of foreign aid and carried out nearly 3,000 packages of aid projects. China is also seeking greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to a World Bank study, the full implementation of the BRI is expected to lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty. Going forward, China will further leverage its advantage as the first country to achieve economic recovery to conduct more international cooperation on poverty reduction, fulfill its international responsibilities for poverty reduction, and serve as a strong promoter of the global poverty reduction cause.

China’s poverty alleviation experience has provided a new model for global poverty governance. China has successfully explored a path of poverty alleviation and development with Chinese characteristics, put in place an institutional system for poverty alleviation, and provided Chinese wisdom and solutions to the global poverty reduction cause.

First, China has a strong core of leadership. Thanks to the strong leadership of the CPC, China has made remarkable achievements in its fight against poverty. Since its founding, the CPC has made the pursuit of the happiness of the people and rejuvenation of the nation its original mission, and has united and led the Chinese people in a long and arduous struggle to create a better life. Over the past eight years, General Secretary Xi Jinping has personally guided, deployed and supervised the fight against poverty. He has presided over seven central conferences on poverty alleviation, conducted more than 50 on-site investigations on poverty reduction efforts, and visited 14 contiguous poverty-stricken areas. During the fight against poverty, more than 1,800 CPC members have even sacrificed their lives for this noble cause.

Second, China is committed to the people-centered development philosophy. We have made people’s satisfaction an important gauge of poverty alleviation, and focused our efforts on meeting their basic living needs, so that all people living in poverty could have access to food and clothing, compulsory education, basic medical care, housing, and safe drinking water. Over the past eight years, governments at all levels have invested a total of nearly 1.6 trillion RMB, providing a strong financial guarantee for winning the battle against poverty. By the end of 2020, a total of 19.36 million registered population in China had been included in the subsistence allowances system. The draft proposal for the 14th Five-Year Plan, adopted at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee at the end of last year, for the first time calls for “more substantial progress in achieving common prosperity for all people”, which embodies the CPC’s people-centered development philosophy.

Third, China has implemented a targeted poverty alleviation strategy. We have provided targeted support and assistance to people living in poverty. We have put in place a national information registration system to ensure that all the poverty alleviation resources could be made full use of for every village, household, and individual in accordance with different causes and types of poverty. We are committed to taking development as the fundamental way to fight against poverty, and has realized the transformation of poverty alleviation model from “blood transfusion” to “blood making”. We have made education the fundamental means to get rid of poverty so as to avoid poverty to be passed on to the next generation.

Fourth, China has strictly enforced assessment procedures. We have followed the principle of strict Party governance throughout the whole process of poverty alleviation. We have carried out the strictest assessment and evaluation, launched a special campaign to tackle corruption and working style problems in poverty alleviation, and established a comprehensive supervision system, so as to make the outcomes of poverty alleviation can stand the test of time and the people.

China’s poverty alleviation experience has set up a new example for global human rights governance. By combining human rights with development, China has explored a path of poverty reduction with Chinese characteristics, became the first country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in poverty, and created a new miracle in the world’s human rights development. China’s historic achievements in poverty alleviation are an epitome of the improvement of human rights. China’s experience in promoting human rights development belongs not only to China, but also to the world. Former Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations Ambassador Jerry Matjila once said at the UN Human Rights Conference that poverty eradication is crucial to global peace, prosperity and stability as well as the realization of all human rights. China has made admirable achievements in poverty eradication. China is committed to helping other developing countries achieve development in line with their own will, which will vigorously promote and protect the human rights of the people in both China and Africa.

China is the world’s largest developing country, and Africa is home to the largest number of developing countries. Poverty reduction cooperation is one of the key areas of China-Africa cooperation. As one of the major participants in Africa’s poverty governance, China has carried out extensive cooperation with African countries under such frameworks as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU Agenda 2063, thus making significant contributions to poverty reduction and development in Africa. China has helped African countries with infrastructure construction by building more than 6,000 kilometers of railways, 6,000 kilometers of roads, nearly 20 ports, over 80 large power facilities, more than 130 medical facilities, 45 stadiums and 170 schools in Africa. We have carried out 200 “Happy Life Projects” and poverty reduction projects that mainly benefit women and children. The “Agricultural Development Projects” have benefited 100 African villages and 24 agricultural technology demonstration centers have been built in Africa to benefit more than 500,000 local people. By the end of 2018, China has provided relevant training for 2,122 trainees from 52 African countries.

As good friends, good partners and good brothers, China and Africa are marching forward hand in hand on the road of poverty reduction and governance. Neither side shall be left behind. China’s complete victory in poverty alleviation will help promote Africa’s poverty reduction cause. China is ready to deepen the exchange of experience on poverty reduction and governance with South Africa and other African countries so as to jointly enhance state governance capacity. China is willing to take more steps to support African countries in tiding over the current difficulties caused by the pandemic, and achieving post-pandemic economic recovery and sustainable development, so as to lay a solid foundation for poverty elimination. China and Africa shall work together to build an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future and create a bright future of common development without poverty or hunger.

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