China: Potential-first country to eradicate poverty

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

China has set itself the challenging task of lifting the equivalent of the combined population of The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone out of poverty in less than just three years.

As part of its new five-year strategic plan, China aims to establish “a moderately prosperous society” by 2020. The target is to lift out the 40 million poor Chinese, who mainly live in the rural areas, out of poverty in less than three years from now.

This is statistically very difficult, if not near-impossible to achieve, under the philosophy of capitalism. But it is very possible under the communist socialism model of China going by the country’s past poverty eradication record.

China has already lifted 700 million people out of poverty in less than 40 years, an unprecedented achievement. This made the country become the first in the world to fulfill the UN millennium development goals of reducing poverty by half.

The GDP per capita of China has increased from less than US$200 in 1975 to more than US$8,000 in 2016 and it is projected to be more than US$8,800 by the end of this year. 

“We are already on the way to eradicate poverty,” the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia proudly and emphatically told the local media recently. 

Research has shown that Chinese efforts to reduce poverty are one of the most compelling examples of the levels of progress China has achieved as a world power.

After lifting 14 million people out of poverty in 2016 alone, the Chinese government’s current plan consists of lifting 10 million people a year out of poverty.  If this pace is maintained, the Asian tiger could confidently achieve its 2020 target.

Although the causes of poverty in China continue to be: living in remote or difficult to access areas, natural disasters, and diseases, tackling the problem is becoming an increasingly bigger and more expensive task.

But the key to combating the problem, according to Chinese authorities, lies in taking a strategic approach. As such it has developed series of measures designed, first and foremost, to provide industry jobs to 30 million people, eligible to work and with production capabilities; secondly, to offer assistance to 10 million citizens by relocating them to areas with greater employment opportunities; third, relocating another 10 million people currently living in unproductive areas to other zones; and lastly, to guarantee the nation’s poor with food subsidies and social security services.

If China is able to fully implement these strategies successfully, it will apparently become the first country in the world to eradicate poverty ahead of the 2030 target of the Sustainable Development Goals.  This will say a lot about the communist socialism model of China, compared to the capitalism of the West. 

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

Mother Teresa