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Living standards rise in the nation's rural areas

By Zou Shuo Source: China Daily Updated: 2022-11-23


Villagers transfer flowers into a dryer machine at a workshop in Yingshan county of Fuyang, East China's Anhui province, Oct 1, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]   

China has made historic achievements in eliminating absolute poverty, and is actively pushing for rural vitalization to consolidate and expand poverty alleviation achievements, officials said.

Some 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line of per capita income of less than 2,300 yuan ($330) a year — about $1 a day — have been lifted out of poverty. By the end of 2020, about 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 impoverished villages were removed from the official poverty list, according to official data.

In 2021, the average per capita disposable income of rural residents more than doubled to 18,931 yuan from the level in 2012.

Deng Xiaogang, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said the living standards of people in formerly impoverished regions have risen considerably, securing access to adequate food, clothing, safe housing, compulsory education, basic healthcare and clean drinking water.

All formerly poverty-stricken counties have two to three distinct industries to support local development, while the lack of access to transportation, electricity and communications has been solved, he told a recent news conference.

More than 70 percent of rural areas have installed sanitary toilets, while the disposal capacities of waste and sewage have also been improved considerably, he said.

Hong Tianyun, deputy head of the National Rural Revitalization Administration, said the core of China's poverty alleviation measures includes adherence to the Party's leadership, a people-centered development strategy and the mobilization of poverty-stricken people.

Consolidating the achievement of poverty alleviation and making sure that there is no large-scale return to poverty are the major tasks for the future, Hong said.

He added that the country will strengthen monitoring of once impoverished people and provide any assistance necessary. Moreover, China will make sure that more than 30 million formerly poverty-stricken people find jobs this year, while improving the rural living environment is an important task in implementing the rural vitalization strategy.

More than 40 million rural household toilets have been refurbished, and the sewage treatment rate in rural areas has reached about 28 percent as a result of a three-year rural living environment upgrade campaign launched in 2018.

More than 95 percent of villages have launched cleanup campaigns, and more farmers have adopted sanitary, green lifestyles, he said.

Deng said that more than 1,000 rural travel routes have been promoted to encourage rural tourism, and the country has more than 300,000 rural recreational restaurants and clubs. Great efforts have also been made to promote e-commerce in rural areas.

There are more than 30,000 rural e-commerce stores, making the sale of distinctive agricultural produce more convenient, he added.


A tourist takes photos in Liujiabao village of Xiaodian district in Taiyuan, North China's Shanxi province, Oct 1, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]


December 2012: During a visit to Fuping county, Hebei province, President Xi Jinping says the most arduous and heavy task facing China in finishing the construction of a moderately prosperous society lies in the rural areas, especially the poverty-stricken regions.

November 2013: During an inspection tour in Hunan province, Xi visits Shibadong, an impoverished village that is home to people from the Miao ethnic group, where he puts forward the concept of "targeted poverty alleviation" in China's countryside.

April 2014: The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development issues a plan on the registration of the impoverished population, mobilizing millions of grassroots cadres to carry out poverty identification work.

October 2015: Xi delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum. He says China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty in the past 30 years.

End of 2016: Shibadong village, where the "targeted poverty alleviation" policy was put forward, is classified as not longer "impoverished".

October 2017: At the 2017 Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum in Beijing, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says China had lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and the country's poverty alleviation experience could provide useful lessons for other developing countries.

End of 2018: The Derung ethnic group in Yunnan province announces that its home region has been officially removed from the list of impoverished areas.

June 2019: Huang Wenxiu, a village official in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in charge of poverty alleviation efforts, dies in a flash flood on June 17. The graduate of Beijing Normal University was 30 years old.

November 2020: China announces that all remaining 52 impoverished counties have been lifted out of poverty, marking the official removal of all 832 counties on the list.

February 2021: At a grand gathering held to mark China's achievements in poverty alleviation and to honor its model fighters against poverty, Xi declares that victory in the battle against poverty has been achieved and China has completed the task of eliminating extreme poverty.