Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called for perseverance in the fight against poverty because only two years left for the country to reach its goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2020.
“There should be no retreat until a complete victory is won,” said President Xi.
Xi made the remarks during a panel discussion with deputies from northwest China’s Gansu Province at the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature.
Decisive progress achieved
China has created a new chapter in human history with its fight against poverty during the past few years. President Xi hailed the decisive progress in poverty alleviation.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in his annual government work report that significant progress was made in targeted poverty alleviation last year, noting that the poor population in rural areas was reduced by 13.86 million. The work report was delivered to the second session of the 13th NPC on Tuesday in Beijing.
Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, told reporters that the number of Chinese citizens living below the national poverty line has decreased by over 80 million in six years, and more than 13 million people on average were lifted out of poverty every year, in the same period.
Perseverance needed in the next two years
During the discussion on Thursday, President Xi said that tasks on poverty alleviation in the coming two years are challenging and stressed the importance of meeting the poverty alleviation standard. “People don’t have to worry about food and clothes, and compulsory education, basic medical care and housing conditions should be guaranteed,” he stressed.
The country has set 2020 as the target year to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, a feat that requires all citizens to be living above the poverty line, which is defined as having a per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan (340 U.S. dollars at the 2010 market exchange rate), set in November 2011.
President Xi urged efforts to avoid formalism, bureaucracy and corruption in poverty alleviation, highlighting the importance of targeted measures and high quality in poverty reduction.
Perseverance is needed, he added, urging the country to double its efforts in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The second session of the 13th NPC opened on Tuesday and will conclude on March 15.