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ADB: China’s poverty reduction is a historical achievement,December 17, 2018 Adjust font size:

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. and International Poverty Reduction Center in China have jointly published the book “A Foreign Lens: How Global Partners View China’s Poverty Alleviation Efforts,” which includes the comments from high-rank officials, well-known scholars and journalists of 12 international organizations and 27 countries. Benedict Bingham, the country director of Asian Development Bank, wrote a preface for this book, speaking highly of China’s great achievements in poverty alleviation in the past 40 years.

Bingham said in this book, the progress that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has made in reducing poverty in the last 40 years is an historical achievement and has been a major factor in the progress that the world has been made towards both the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initial phase of PRC’s poverty reduction effort, from the start of the “Reform and Opening-up” in 1978 to the late 1990s, was largely a macro phenomenon driven by high economic growth and rising urban employment, supported by heavy investment in infrastructure and broad economic reforms that allowed the PRC to unleash its immense economic potential. Subsequent phases of poverty reduction have become more localized and focused. While addressing broad imbalances, between rural and urban and between regions, remains an important policy priority, efforts have become increasingly focused on precision poverty reduction to tackle poverty at the micro-city, county and village level, to improve their living standards of the poorest and make sure nobody is left behind. The policy agenda has also been expanded further recently to focus on improving broader aspects of quality of life and providing social security to those vulnerable.

He stressed, this blending and sequencing of macro- and micro- policy reform initiatives to tackle poverty is one of the most impressive features of PRC’s development curve over the past 40 years. Macro-economic growth served as the driving force for lifting the large segments of population out of poverty. The more specific and targeted pro-poor policy plans ensured that stubborn pockets of poverty were addressed and that no-one was left behind. This is an important lesson from PRC’s poverty alleviation experience.

He also mentioned, ADB has been continuously supporting the PRC during its economic and social development progress since 1986. From investing in major infrastructure projects such as the iconic Nanpu and Yangpu bridges across the Huangpu River in Shanghai, to addressing the imbalances between east and west regions by improving the municipal system and integrated urban development of Xinjiang and Gansu, from targeting the rural road rehabilitation and upgrading of the poverty-stricken Liupanshan area in Ningxia, to reducing emission and pollution to improve the air quality in the greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regions, ADB’s support has mirrored PRC’s own development trajectory. The ADB has also provided inputs to the country’s strategic five-year plans, which have been the basis for PRC’s development. The next five-year plan and its successors will be particularly important, as they will move beyond an immediate focus on economic growth and eliminating absolute poverty, to generating sustainable high-quality development that will improve quality of life in multiple dimensions. The development path chosen in these plans will have increasing impact beyond PRCs borders and play an important role in shaping regional and global policy agendas in areas such as poverty, climate change, urbanization, and managing aging societies.

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