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Poverty reduction highlights China's progress in human rights: white paper

Xinhua, October 18, 2016 Adjust font size:

Poverty reduction is the most telling evidence of China's progress in human rights, as the number of citizens China has raised from poverty accounts for 70 percent of the world's total, said a white paper issued on Monday.

Over the past 30 years or more since the launch of reform and opening up, more than 700 million Chinese people have been raised from poverty, said the white paper published by the State Council Information Office under the title "China's Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights."

"After years of trials and experimentation, China has accumulated a wealth of experience in promoting human rights through development-oriented poverty reduction, and established a new model of development-oriented poverty alleviation with Chinese characteristics," the paper noted.

To fight poverty, the Chinese government assigned special poverty relief funds amounting to 189.84 billion yuan (about 28.17 billion U.S. dollars) from 2011 to 2015, with an average annual growth rate of 14.5 percent. The government will allocate more funds to keep pace with the needs of poverty relief in the coming five years, said the paper.

By the end of 2015, China still had 55.75 million people living in poverty, equivalent to the entire population of a medium-sized country. The country plans to lift all of its poor out of poverty by 2020.

EDUCATION PRIORITIZED

The Chinese government prioritized education in its efforts to eradicate poverty during the 2011-2015 period, said the paper.

To ensure poor people's access to education, the government has taken measures to promote balanced compulsory education, bridge the education gap between urban and rural areas, improve education infrastructure in impoverished areas and allotting living subsidies to the students, the paper said.

In 2012-2015, the central government injected 83.1 billion yuan in renovating schools for compulsory education and earmarked 14 billion yuan to build dormitory buildings for some 300,000 teachers in remote rural areas, the document showed.

In less-developed central and western China, the number of children enrolled in kindergartens rose from 21.53 million in 2011 to 27.89 million in 2015, up about 30 percent.

The country offered cost-of-living subsidies for rural teachers in contiguous poverty-stricken areas, benefiting over one million teachers in 600 counties.

A directional enrollment program was carried out in poverty-stricken areas, enrolling 183,000 students in 832 impoverished counties from 2012 to 2015.

In 2013-2015, the average annual growth rate of rural students from poor areas enrolled in key universities was kept above 10 percent, according to the document.

CHILDREN, MINORS PROTECTED

In order to ensure children's rights to social security, education and other public services are effectively protected in its poverty relief efforts, China has introduced an appropriate and all-inclusive welfare and service system for children and carried out experimental work on encouraging social protection of minors, said the paper.

The country also promoted the establishment of a system for rescuing and protecting minors and a children's welfare and protection network at the county, township and village levels, the document showed.

Since 2011, more than half of China's counties have implemented a program of nutrition improvement for rural students receiving compulsory education, with the central government spending 67 billion yuan benefiting 33.6 million rural students.

As of 2012, the government carried out a nutrition improvement program for children in poor areas, providing free nutrition packages to infants aged six to 24 months and popularizing knowledge on healthy feeding among guardians.

In 2015 alone, the central government allocated subsidies of 500 million yuan to this program, benefiting 2.11 million children in 341 counties, the white paper said.

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