BEIJING – (BUSINESS WIRE) – China has pledged to eradicate absolute poverty in rural areas by the end of 2020 despite the COVID-19 epidemic. While efforts are being made to ensure “that no poor area or individual is left behind,” as President Xi Jinping says, the people who have recently shaken off poverty are striving for better lives.
Among the 529 inhabitants of a small village in Hunan province, central China, 95 out of 30 households lived below the poverty line. The whole village was lifted out of poverty thanks to rural tourism in 2018, and the average annual income of residents reached 13,840 yuan (about US $ 2,060) last year, well above the national poverty line of 2300 yuan (about 340 US dollars).
Shazhou Village, located in a mountainous area of Rucheng County, Chenzhou City, was the first stop on Xi’s inspection tour of Hunan.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visited the village on Wednesday and learned about anti-poverty industries and the progress being made in consolidating poverty eradication in a demonstration base for modern agricultural tourism.
Targeted poverty reduction
China has adopted a targeted approach in its anti-poverty campaign, which means taking relief measures tailored to different local conditions.
The story of Shazhou is a prime example of this approach. The village has the beautiful scenery of the Luoxiao mountains and the unique Yao ethnic culture, nearly two thirds of the inhabitants belong to the Yao ethnic group. Tourism has played an important role in Shazhou’s fight against poverty.
The village has promoted rural tourism and high-quality fruit planting and organized training programs to help villagers acquire professional skills such as restaurant cooks and rural tourism industry workers. Over 350 local jobs have been created as a result of these efforts.
With all its people lifted out of poverty, Shazhou is also known for its nationwide honor as the “village of beauty and recreation”, “model for ethnic unity and progress”, “key village for the promotion of rural tourism “and” traditional Chinese village. ”
New starting point
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in late 2012, China has achieved remarkable results in poverty reduction. More than 93 million rural people were lifted out of poverty between 2013 and 2019.
But 5.51 million people were expected to get rid of poverty by the end of 2019. And such a formidable task coincided by accident with the coronavirus epidemic.
Speaking at a poverty reduction symposium in March, Xi described the goal of ending absolute poverty by 2020 as a “solemn pledge” made by the CPC Central Committee in Chinese people, urging authorities at all levels to keep this promise.
As China steps up its efforts in the final phase of the hard battle, Xi is touring the country to inspect economic and social development, with poverty reduction a priority. Prior to the trip to Hunan, he had made inspection visits this year to the capital Beijing and the provinces of Yunnan, Hubei, Zhejiang, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Jilin and Anhui and the Autonomous Region. by Ningxia Hui.
In addition to increasing the incomes of the poor, China is also striving to improve the quality of poverty reduction. Xi has repeatedly called for efforts to ensure that poor rural people do not have to worry about food and clothing and have access to compulsory education, basic medical services and safe housing.
Meanwhile, he looks to the future beyond ending poverty. “Getting out of poverty is not an end in itself but the starting point of a new life and a new quest”, he declared several times this year, calling for consolidating the gains by poverty reduction and advance the rural vitalization strategy.
Presented at the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, the strategy aims to build rural areas with thriving businesses, pleasant living environments, social etiquette and civility, effective governance and prosperity.
Shazhou is one of many previously poor villages in China that have embarked on the journey for a better future.
On Wednesday, Xi also visited a revolution-themed exhibition hall, a village service center, a clinic, a primary school and the homes of villagers in Shazhou.