China makes absolute poverty history

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By H.E. MA Jianchun, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to The Gambia

On February 25, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China had already won victory in the fight against absolute poverty at a national commendation conference held in Beijing. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, nearly 100 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line were lifted out of poverty,all the 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 impoverished villages have been removed from the poverty list. With such achievements, China has created another miracle that will go down in history.

Poverty is a persistent problem of human society. The fight against poverty has always been a major issue in the governance of any country. A history of China is a history of the Chinese people’s struggle against poverty. From ancient times to modern times, especially since 1840, Due to the decadence of old dynasty and the invasion by western powers, China was in political turmoil and constant war, the nightmare of poverty plagued the Chinese people seriously. Getting rid of poverty has already become the dream of the Chinese people and an important element in realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

During the past eight years, more than 10 million impoverished people were lifted out of poverty on average each year, an equivalence of the population of a medium-sized country. The income level of the impoverished people has increased significantly, and all of them have achieved the goal of no longer worrying about food, clothing, compulsory education, basic medical care and housing security. The livelihood of the people out of poverty has been greatly improved. More than 20 million poverty-stricken patients have been registered and treated, and families once plagued by illnesses have raised the backbone of their lives. Nearly 20 million poverty-stricken people enjoy low-income insurance and special assistance, and more than 24 million people with difficulties and severe disabilities have received living and care subsidies. More than 1.1 million poor people have become forest rangers, guarding the green hills and mountains, in exchange for an ecological environment that brings economic benefits. The overall appearance of the area out of poverty has undergone a historic transformation. The whole country newly reconstructed 1.1 million kilometers of rural roads and added 35,000 kilometers of railroads. The reliability rate of agricultural network power supplies in poor areas has reached 99%, the proportion of poor villages within the coverage of large power grids has reached 100%, and the proportion of poor villages connected with fiber optics and 4G has exceeded 98%. 7.9 million households and 25.68 million poor people’s dilapidated houses have been renovated, 35,000 centralized resettlement areas and 2.66 million sets of resettlement houses have been built, and more than 9.6 million people have moved out of isolation and backwardness into new homes. To win the battle against extreme poverty, China totally invested fiscal funds of nearly 1.6 trillion yuan (about $246 billion) into poverty alleviation and adopted a targeted poverty alleviation strategy, striving to eradicate poverty through development. Meanwhile, over 1,800 workers lost lives for the country’s cause of poverty alleviation and most of them are members of the CPC.


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of CPC and it has been working to improve people’s livelihood since its foundation. From helping the poor gaining liberation to promoting socialist construction, from implementing large-scale, planned and organized poverty alleviation to launching a massive people’s war against poverty, the CPC has led the people in a long and arduous struggle, finally achieving a comprehensive victory in the fight against poverty at the important moment of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC.

This year is also the concluding year of The Gambia’s National Development Plan 2018-2021. China and The Gambia share similar past history of anti-colonialism and extreme poverty. After unremitting efforts, China gained eradication of extreme poverty and met the poverty eradication target set in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. We hope that the “Chinese miracle” of poverty reduction can also happen in The Gambia and the country will soon achieve the goal of poverty alleviation and national development. In this process, China will always be The Gambia’s sincere development partner.

Just as President Xi said, “Shaking off poverty is not the finish line, but the starting point of a new life and new endeavor.” China is willing to work with people from all countries, including The Gambia, to firmly promote the cause of global poverty alleviation and move forward together to build a community with a shared future for mankind without poverty.