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China claims its ethnic minorities, rural poor have made notable progress in fighting poverty

Between 2016 & 2020, number of poor dropped by 15.6 mn in 5 autonomous regions and 3 provinces with large multi-ethnic populations, China said in a 'white paper'.

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New Delhi: China’s ethnic minority areas have made notable progress in fighting poverty, said a white paper issued by China’s State Council Information Office Tuesday.

“From 2016 to 2020, the number of the poor dropped by 15.6 million in the country’s five autonomous regions — Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia and Xinjiang — and three provinces with large multi-ethnic populations — Guizhou, Yunnan and Qinghai,” said the paper. It added that extreme poverty was eliminated in all 28 of the ethnic minority groups “with a small population”, though it did not name these groups.

A white paper is a report that informs readers about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s stance on the matter.

China has been facing global criticism and sanctions from the West over its treatment of ethnic minorities, especially the Muslim Uyghur population in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

“Some ethnic groups, still at the later stage of primitive society when the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, leapfrogged to socialism and then again made great strides towards moderate prosperity in all respects,” said the paper.

The white paper comes ahead of the centenary celebrations of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) in July this year, in which President Xi Jinping will seek to “secure his place alongside Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in the pantheon of great leaders”.

On 25 February, during a live broadcast from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi claimed personal responsibility for eradicating poverty in China.

Also read: How China’s project to de-Islamicise its Uyghur Muslims began and continues

Rural residents in poverty dropped to zero in eight years

The paper covered the course of China’s fight in eliminating extreme poverty under the CPC leadership and stated that the country is ready to strengthen cooperation with other countries on poverty alleviation.

It traced the drop in the number of rural residents in poverty over an eight-year period — 98.99 million in 2012; 82.49 million in 2013; 70.17 million in 2014; 55.75 million in 2015; 43.35 million in 2016; 30.46 million in 2017; 16.6 million in 2018; 5.51 million in 2019 and 0 in 2020.

The number of impoverished counties in the country has also been reduced to zero during this period, stated the paper — from 832 in 2012, to 832 in 2013, 832 in 2014, 832 in 2015, 804 in 2016, 679 in 2017, 396 in 2018, 52 in 2019 and 0 in 2020.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: India must understand what is happening in Tibet is China’s blueprint: Top Tibetan leader


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