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How will the Chinese government eliminate poverty?

op politics and current affairs news for March 31, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Chinese reactions to Trump’s tweets"
4 weeks ago
Jeremy Goldkorn

The top headlines on all central state media today were about a Politburo meeting chaired by Xi Jinping at which provincial officials presented reports on their work in 2016 on poverty relief — see Xinhua’s English report. Eradicating poverty has been a core theme in state propaganda for several months and an explicit priority for the Party in 2017. The government has set 2020 as “the target year to finish building a moderately prosperous society” — in other words, to lift the entire population out of poverty.

Although much of the rhetoric in state media is short on details, the key strategies are sometimes described as “developing industries in poor areas, relocation of impoverished people, and support in healthcare and education.” The government also incentivizes investment in impoverished areas: In December 2016, the China Securities Regulatory Commission implemented a policy by which companies that establish operations in poor counties have their applications to list on stock exchanges fast-tracked. But this does not always work as intended because poor regions often have inefficient transport and a shortage of skilled staff. Southern Weekend has a story (in Chinese) about such problems in a rural county in Hunan Province.

By Jeremy Goldkorn
Jeremy Goldkorn is co-founder of the Sinica Podcast and currently edits SupChina and its daily newsletter.
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