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Why did China pick Hangzhou to host the G20?

GPIG by Zhang Ling, September 6, 2016 Adjust font size:

Editor's note: Hangzhou, capital of China's eastern province of Zhejiang, is busy showcasing China to the rest of world as the leaders of the world's major economies have gathered there for this years' two-days G20 Summit earlier September.

Hangzhou, known to be a "Paradise on Earth", is a hub of tourism and technology, but it may inferior to Beijing on the political level or Shanghai in terms of economic status. What makes the city stand out?

"Poverty reduction, as well as sustainable development, is an integral part of the theme of the G20 Leaders' Summit held in Hangzhou," said Wang Wen, the Executive Dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China.

The G20 Summit, with "Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive Global Economy" as its theme, highlighted development issues in the framework of global macro-policy and worked on a systematic action plan to foster sustainable development.

"Zhejiang is one of the provinces in China that has reached a remarkable milestone in terms of poverty reduction," spoke Wang.

Statistics released last year showed that all residents of Zhejiang had an annual income above the provincial poverty line of 4,600 yuan (US$708), making it the first province in the country to reach its poverty reduction target.

According to Wang, countries and villages in Zhejiang have to support each other, share information and coordinate their efforts in alleviating poverty.

Keenly aware of the importance of infrastructure in poverty reduction, the provincial government has invested about 100 billion yuan (US$15.4 billion) each year for over ten years in roads, Internet networks and other public facilities.

Meanwhile, the province of Zhejiang also pursued a mutually beneficial commercial development between the advanced areas such as capital city and coastal areas and the inner parts, by taking advantage of the capital, technology and talents coupled with the resources and labor force of the latter.

Besides financial aid, the government also made sure that every household below the poverty line was properly documented and attended to by a designated official. To ensure the smooth and seamless integration of the government and the poor, a mechanism was also put into place to regularly report progress to the public.

"It's obvious that poverty can be effectively combated not only by giving money to the impoverished but also by improving their life skills through education and training," reflected Wang.

Wang added that China, particularly Zhejiang, set an exemplary example for the world for poverty alleviation, as the country contributed more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction gains. The Hangzhou G20 meeting provided a platform to share knowledge and transmit information to the rest of the world.

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