China has announced today that it has helped another 85 Chinese counties out of poverty, toward its goal of eradicating poverty by 2020.
This brings the total number of counties removed from China’s poverty list to 153. It is the largest number of counties to shake off poverty since China vowed in 2015 to win the battle against poverty.
The announcement, made by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, came on the fifth National Poverty Relief Day, which falls on October 17 every year.
“This is an important achievement in the decisive stage of fighting the tough battle against poverty,’’ Xia Gengsheng, deputy director of the office said.
The 85 counties, from nine provincial regions, went through assessments from third-party institutions before being removed from the list.
Seventy-four of them are in the country’s less-developed western regions, and 25 are in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.
“A county is removed from the list if less than two per cent of its population lives below the poverty line, defined by a per capita annual income of 2,300 Yuan (around 333 dollars) at 2010 prices.
“In the country’s western regions, if less than three per cent of the people live in poverty; the county will be removed from the list.
“Removing the 85 counties from the poverty list was in line with local economic and social development, the decision can stand tests and is recognised by the public,’’ Xia said.
He, however, called for continued poverty relief policies and efforts in these counties.