Poverty eradication by 2020: A reality check


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This week on Sinica, in a show that was streamed live on August 27, Kaiser and Jeremy examine China’s efforts to fulfill the goal of Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 of eradicating extreme poverty in China by the end of this year. They are joined by two guests: Gāo Qín 高琴 is a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work and the founding director of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy. She is a leading authority on China’s social welfare system and published a book titled Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China. Matthew Chitwood, who spent two years researching rural poverty in the remote mountain village of Bangdong in Yunnan Province, brings an on-the-ground perspective on poverty alleviation. He is currently writing a book based on his field research.

4:39: Xi Jinping’s personal project of poverty eradication 

12:23: Poverty in China is confined to rural areas

25:44: How rural poverty alleviation actually works in China

34:16: Chinese social assistance programs and means testing 

48:49: Overlooked topics in the discussion on poverty eradication


Jeremy: Clean: The New Science of Skin, by James Hamblin.

Matthew: Chinese Village, Socialist State, by Edward Friedman, Paul G. Pickowicz, Mark Selden, and Kay Ann Johnson.

Gao: Blaming Immigrants: Nationalism and the Economics of Global Movement, by Neeraj Kaushal, and The Soul of Care: The Moral Education of a Husband and a Doctor, by Arthur Kleinman. 

Kaiser: Money for Nothing: The Scientists, Fraudsters, and Corrupt Politicians Who Reinvented Money, Panicked a Nation, and Made the World Rich, by Thomas Levenson.

This podcast was edited and produced by Kaiser Kuo and Jason MacRonald.