BEIJING: China has lifted 68 million people out of poverty in the last five years since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, official media reported today.
Over 68 million people have been lifted over the poverty line -- per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan (USD 361) -- in the past five years, with an average of 13 million each year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
At the end of 2017, China had 30.46 million poor residents.
China aims to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020, roughly 10 million each year, the report said.
During the past five years, the average annual income of rural residents in impoverished areas has risen 10.4 per cent each year, up 2.5 percentage points above the average for rural residents.
About 3.4 million impoverished population has moved into new homes since 2012, and houses of more than 6 million poor population have been renovated, it said.
China's poverty rate has dropped from 10.2 per cent in 2012 to 3.1 per cent in 2017, becoming the first country to complete the United Nations Millennium Development Goals With Xi in charge, China's poverty-relief battle, the world's biggest and toughest, has made decisive progress and provides global poverty relief with Chinese wisdom and solutions, the Xinhua report said yesterday.
The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) reviewed a plan on Thursday on continued efforts in poverty alleviation.
Presided over by Xi, the meeting stressed that the battle against poverty is one of the "three tough battles" that the country must win to build a moderately prosperous society by 2020.
To achieve the goal, China needs to lift around 30 million poor rural residents out of poverty in the next three years.
"We must be aware of the difficulties and challenges in winning the battle, and must have a stronger sense of responsibility and urgency in poverty relief," it quoted a statement released after the meeting.
A total of 2.74 million impoverished families saw their income increased thanks to e-commerce poverty relief programmes in the past five years, and 23,000 impoverished villages have benefited from tourism programmes.
Nevertheless, in the eyes of Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, the poverty relief task was still arduous.
The work will shift to areas hit the hardest by poverty, put more emphasis on quality, and be more targeted and precise, Liu said.
"We will work to foster local industries, create new jobs, relocate residents in poor areas and strengthen aid to the aged, the disabled and people who are seriously ill," Xinhua quoted him as saying.
As per the official data, China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty in the last three decades, accounting for about 70 percent of those brought out of poverty worldwide.