Xi: Keep poverty-reduction promises
2017-03-13, AN BAIJIE

China’s poverty-alleviation work faces tougher challenges with the approach of the 2020 deadline for the nation’s ambitious poverty-eradication plan, President Xi Jinping said on March 8, while calling on officials to make greater efforts to help poverty-stricken people.

The Communist Party of China has made a solemn promise to lift all remaining poverty-stricken people out of that status by the end of 2020, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Xi made the remarks at a panel discussion with lawmakers from Southwest China’s Sichuan province during the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature. The 10-day NPC session runs until March 15.

Mountainous Sichuan, with many ethnic groups, has 3.8 million people living in poverty. By a standard set in 2011, China categorizes those with an annual income lower than 2,300 yuan ($335) as poverty stricken.

The number of people living in poverty in rural areas was reduced by 12.4 million last year to 43.35 million. The government will lift another 10 million people out of poverty this year, according to the Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang on March 5.

The whole process of poverty reduction requires tailored poverty-relief policies and precision measures, and sometimes patience and accuracy, like “doing embroidery”, Xi said.

The government should continue to dispatch officials to live in poor rural villages to focus on the poverty-reduction work there, Xi said, adding that the authorities should make full use of poverty-alleviation funds.

The president called for continuous measures to prevent those who have already escaped poverty from falling into that status again. Formalism should be stopped resolutely in poverty-reduction work, he emphasized.

During the discussion, Xi also urged local authorities to push forward with supply-side structural reform in agriculture, improve quality and produce more green, organic and pollution-free farm products.

The integration of military and civil industries should speed up, Xi said, adding that a high-tech industry base should be built for military-civil integration.

The president also stressed the importance of clean governance. Government officials should stick to their beliefs, safeguard the authority and leadership of the CPC Central Committee and abide by political discipline and rules.

During the talks, the Sichuan lawmakers gave their suggestions on issues including pushing forward reform, reconstruction work after the 2013 earthquake, and Tibetan inhabitants’ livelihoods.

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