China’s Xi declares ‘complete victory’ in campaign to stamp out rural poverty

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping declared “complete victory” in China’s effort to eradicate rural poverty at a ceremony on Thursday (Feb 25) in Beijing to celebrate what has been a signature initiative of his tenure.

China credits Xi’s leadership with lifting nearly 100 million people from poverty over the past eight years, with state media framing the accomplishment as an early birthday gift for this year’s 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party.

On Wednesday, the People’s Daily, the party’s main newspaper, published a commentary filling more than two pages lauding the “historic leap” to vanquish poverty under Xi.

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China defines extreme rural poverty as per capita income of less than 4,000 yuan (US$620) each year, or about US$1.52 a day. That compares with the World Bank’s global threshold of US$1.90 a day.

In a “No. 1 policy document” released on Sunday, China vowed to stick with its poverty alleviation policies, while making some adjustments for a five-year transition towards what Beijing calls “rural revitalisation”.