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Monday, October 12, 2015, 15:47

Poverty relief high on China's 2016-2020 agenda

By Xinhua

Poverty relief high on China's 2016-2020 agenda
A man begs in front of Shanghai South Railway Station ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays in Shanghai on Feb 4, 2015. (A FP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE)

BEIJING - Poverty alleviation will be a major focus in China's 2016-2020 development plan, an official said at a press conference ahead of the 23rd International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Saturday, which also marked China's second National Poverty Relief Day.

Poverty relief remains a top priority for China and related work will be a major issue for a key meeting later this month to set the course for China's development over the next five years (2016-2020), said Hong Tianyun, deputy director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China.

Beijing will host the Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum on Friday, during which around 300 representatives will gather to share their experience in combating poverty.

President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the forum, Hong said.

China has made remarkable progress in poverty relief. It was the first developing country to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reducing the population living in poverty by half ahead of the 2015 deadline.

In the past 15 years, China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty, accounting for about 70 percent of those brought out of poverty worldwide.

Despite this, China still had 70.17 million people in the countryside living below the country's poverty line of 2,300 yuan (US$376) in annual income at the end of last year.

Hong said it will be challenging for China to achieve its goal of lifting all people out of poverty by 2020.

He said the government will come up with a string of more effective and targeted measures to achieve the goal, including launching education campaigns, encouraging financial support and building public platforms to mobilize more people to join the fight.

While striving to reduce poverty domestically, China has also supported other developing countries in the cause.

Speaking to a United Nations summit last month, President Xi pledged an initial US$2 billion to establish an assistance fund to help developing nations reach the target.

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