President Xi Jinping has urged all-out efforts to win the tough battle against poverty and make new progress in the process of building a moderately prosperous society.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark on Monday in an instruction regarding the fourth National Poverty Relief Day on Oct 17.
Xi said helping people get out of poverty and pursue happiness is the ultimate goal of the Party’s efforts to push forward development. The CPC Central Committee made the solemn promise at the Party’s 18th National Congress five years ago to lift all of China’s impoverished people out of poverty by 2020, he said.
China categorizes those with an annual income lower than 2,300 yuan ($335 in 2011) as poverty-stricken, according to a standard set in 2011.
Calling poverty alleviation “the toughest battle of all tough battles”, Xi said that remarkable progress has been made to push forward poverty reduction with tailored measures and systematic innovation.
The president hailed the outstanding people in China’s battle against poverty, saying that their fighting spirit needs to be spread nationwide to encourage further efforts in poverty-reduction work.
A meeting was held in Beijing on Monday to honor those who have made great contributions to poverty-relief work.
Premier Li Keqiang also congratulated those honored for their achievements and asked authorities to support their work and gather more strength from all of society for the goal of building a moderately prosperous society by 2020.
In a written instruction, Li stressed that China’s battle against poverty has entered the final stage, and authorities at all levels should make greater efforts to break development bottlenecks and strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of poverty-reduction work.
China saw its rural population living in poverty decrease from 770 million to 55.75 million between 1978 and 2015. An additional 12.4 million were lifted out of poverty last year.
The importance of poverty reduction has always been highlighted by Xi amid the Communist Party of China’s efforts to build a well-off society.
Poverty alleviation ranks No 1 among the government’s projects for improving people’s livelihoods, Xi told officials during his inspection tour of Shanxi province in June.
The whole process of poverty reduction requires tailored poverty relief policies and precision measures, and sometimes patience and accuracy like “doing embroidery”, Xi said in March at a panel discussion with lawmakers from Sichuan province during the top legislature’s annual session.