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.
A Chinese-backed dam project leaves Myanmar in a bind / NYT (paywall)
Construction on the Myitsone Dam was suspended in 2011, but the project has not been canceled and faces an uncertain fate.
Two Chinese activists who backed Hong Kong democracy protests jailed / Reuters
Su Changlan 苏昌兰 and Chen Qitang 陈启棠 were sentenced to three and four-and-a-half years respectively for “incitement to subvert state power” by a court in Guangdong.
- Terror threats transform China’s Uighur heartland into security state / Reuters
- North Koreans linked to Kim Jong-nam’s murder arrive in Beijing, on same flight as his body / SCMP