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China Focus: China's 2020 poverty alleviation goal attainable: Xi

DATE:2015-11-04       SOURCE:Xinhua News Agency

BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping expects China to achieve the 2020 poverty relief target, according to a document issued Tuesday by the Communist Party of China (CPC).


Xi made his remarks when addressing the Fifth Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee, which convened last week to map out China's development from 2016 to 2020 -- the 13th Five-year Plan.


As of the end of 2014, China had 70.2 million people in rural areas living below the poverty line. This was set at an annual income of 2,300 yuan (376 U.S. dollars, at the 2010 rate).


China plans to lift all of its poor out of poverty by 2020, according to a communique released after the CPC plenary meeting.


"Eliminating poverty in rural areas is the most difficult challenge in building a moderately prosperous society," said Xi.


To this end, the government plans poverty-relief policies and improved infrastructure in rural areas, including roads, access to water, power and the Internet, according to the CPC Central Committee's proposal on formulating the 13th Five-year Plan.


The CPC also pledged to improve education, healthcare and public services in poor areas and establish a social services system for "left-behind" children, women and the elderly.


While increasing fiscal expenditure on poverty relief, private investment and community groups will be encouraged to join the battle.


"If the government takes concrete and effective action, China can lift 10 million people out of poverty every year from 2016 to 2020," said the president.


"The social security system will cover the remaining 20 million poor people who are unfit to work, and they will receive financial aid to ensure they live above the poverty line," said the president.


China has made remarkable progress in poverty alleviation. It was the first developing country to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reducing the population living in poverty by half ahead of the 2015 deadline.


Xi also called for quick changes to the household registration system. Citing a national plan on urbanization for the 2014-2020 period, the document said the by 2020, about 45 percent of the whole registered population will be living in urban areas.


In 2013 this rate was 35.9 percent. It is calculated that more than 16 million people will change their registered rural address to an urban address each year. At present, China has 750 million urban residents including 250 million migrant workers who do not enjoy equal rights to education, employment, social security, medical care and housing as the registered population.


The central government plans to help 100 million migrants settle in cities and enjoy equal public services, mainly rural students studying in cities, soldiers on service there, people employed in urban regions and rural families who have been in cities for more than five years.


This will expand consumption, stabilize real estate markets and improve investment in urban infrastructure and public services, it added.

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