An Opinion Editorial by the Chinese Ambassador to Maldives H.E. Zhang Lizhong on China's success in eradicating poverty
Aygul Osmanjan is a 25-year-old country girl from Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. She suffered from polio in her childhood and was classified as a second-degree disability. Her family was heavily in debt to treat her, and their life was hard.
In 2012, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China ushered in China’s poverty alleviation campaign of the new era, and the life of Aygul’s family was changing after that. In 2014, her family was identified as one of the first batches of the registered poverty-stricken households, and the local government began to provide a monthly allowance to them. For the first time, her family did not have to worry about what to eat and wear since then.
In the same year, as the targeted poverty alleviation work was carried out in her hometown, her family applied interest-free loans to raise livestock and joined the project of improving the quality and income of agriculture and fruit forestry.
Thanks to the government-subsidized housing policy, her family moved from a mud house to a spacious and bright new house. She also signed up for a handicraft weaving training program organized by the local government and company. She mastered the weaving skills soon and got her first salary.
In Aygul's mind, opening a clothing store is her dream since childhood. Thanks to the assistance of the First Secretary of her village, she was granted a start-up support fund and successfully launched her own clothing store in the local bazaar of her hometown.
It was the poverty alleviation campaign and assistance of the government and companies that enabled Aygul, the disabled girl with a strong will, to fulfil her aspiration of leading a happy life.
Across Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 3.089 million population of 77,900 registered poverty-stricken households, 3,666 poverty-stricken villages and 32 poverty-stricken counties were all lifted out of poverty. The compulsory education for children from poverty-stricken families, basic medical care for the poverty-stricken population and medical care for serious diseases have been fully guaranteed.
The relocation of poverty-stricken people has been completed. The working and living conditions of the poverty-stricken population have been greatly improved. The people of sense of fulfilment, happiness and security has been greatly enhanced for the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
They are all the epitomes of how the Chinese Communist Party has united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to conquer the fortress of deep poverty, win decisive battles against poverty and create a better life for the people. As President Xi Jinping said, no ethnic group shall be left behind, whether in the journey of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, poverty alleviation, or modernization.
President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed that “the people’s aspiration for a better life is our goal”.
The Chinese Communist Party adheres to the people-centred development philosophy and unswervingly pursues common prosperity. Poverty eradication, livelihood improvement and common prosperity are the Chinese Communist Party’s fundamental purposes of serving the people wholeheartedly, and also the major responsibility of the CPC and the Chinese government.
Giving play to the main and leading role of government investment, China would rather cut out a few major projects and give priority to ensuring funding for poverty alleviation. Since the start of the battle against poverty, China has issued more than RMB 710 billion in small-amount loan, RMB 668.8 billion in re-loans, and RMB 9.2 trillion in targeted financial loans for poverty alleviation.
Thanks to these interest-free loans and support funds, Aygul’s family started-up their aquaculture and managed her clothing store.
As President Xi Jinping said, poverty alleviation is not the finish line, but the starting point of a new life and new endeavour.
After the historic achievements in poverty alleviation, the Chinese Communist Party has put forward the major task of rural vitalization, given greater importance to promoting common prosperity of the Chinese people, and made more substantial progress in promoting common prosperity for all Chinese people.