Five Ways China Beats Poverty
China has made remarkable progress in solving its poverty problems. Between 1986 and 2016, China’s GDP increased from $300.758 million to $11.199 trillion. In 2017, the world’s GDP growth was 2.49 percent, but China’s GDP grew by 6.7 percent. This significant growth is closely related to China’s effective poverty policies. In 2016 alone, the Chinese government lifted 12.4 million people out of poverty.

Five Ways China Beats Poverty

  1. Target individuals in need
    Targeting individuals is one of the ways China beats poverty. In 2012, the first year of President Xi Jinping’s first term, he declared the Chinese poverty issue to be the top task of his presidency. He called it “the baseline task for building a moderately prosperous society,” which will be achieved by 2020.The main approach to achieve this goal is the Minimum Living Allowance Guarantee, or Dibao. Dibao is a program that guarantees every household meets the minimum income level set by local governments. For example, the minimum income level set by the Beijing government was around $162, and the rural minimum income level was $123.Even though this program is controversial because of governmental corruption, it does improve the quality of life in extremely poor households. Between 2013 and 2016, more than 10 million rural people were lifted out of poverty every year, which aids in reaching President Xi’s goal: eliminate poverty by 2020.
  2. Enact comprehensive social development programs
    The second way China beats poverty is by enacting social programs. The Chinese government has implemented many social development programs since 2000, such as nine-year compulsory education. The nine-year Compulsory Education Law was exacted in 1986 with the goal of minimizing illiteracy.Another outstanding social program is the New Rural Social Pension Insurance (NRSP), which was announced in 2009. It was implemented in all counties in 2012, and more than 80 million peasants were covered by this program. This policy stipulates that individuals over 60 years of age can receive pension benefits. The amount is around 10 percent of the average annual income of rural areas in China.This policy targets a wide range of citizens and improves retirement rates, especially for women. The amount given by NRSP is limited, but it has a substantial effect on rural people’s quality of life.
  3. Merge small family fields into cooperatives
    One of President Xi’s strategies to solve poverty in rural areas is merging small family lands into cooperatives. This system pools land by peasants voluntarily giving up their ownership of free land development and becoming shareholders. The peasants then plant commercial crops such as tea to gain more profits. Some local companies invest in these lands and bring more financial benefits to rural areas. This policy solves the problem of deficiency of scattered development and generates a cohesive effect.
  4. Relocate peasants
    Another way China beats poverty is by relocating rural people. People who live in geologically hazardous areas that are prone to landslides and earthquakes, or in remote areas, will be relocated. Approximately 9.81 million people are set to move between 2016 and 2020. This program helps people who are trapped in remote and poor mountain areas and provides them with an opportunity to learn about new ideas and advanced technology.
  5. Develop tourism in villages
    The Chinese government develops tourism in villages by offering experiences based on the community. Visitors can live in local houses and participate in rural activities such as farming and cooking in primary kitchens. One successful example of this program is Lijiang, an old town in Yunnan province. About 15 million visitors come to this town, which generates more than $3 billion in profits every year.

These are five ways China beats poverty, and through these methods the country has seen remarkable progress. Other countries with similar situations can adopt some of these strategies to help solve their own poverty issues.

– Judy Lu

Photo: Flickr