Why hasn't poverty been eradicated yet?

Xi Jinping claims to have completely eradicated poverty in China. Is that correct?

According to official figures, China is free of extreme poverty. The Communist Party says: You have us to thank for that. This should be one of the most important political plans of the head of state and party leader Xi Jinping.

When the Chinese head of state and party leader Xi Jinping spoke of a “miracle of historic significance” to a large gathering in Beijing on Thursday, he meant it. In an hour-long speech, he celebrated the “complete victory” over absolute poverty in China. He, Xi Jinping, had made it his central task to overcome extreme poverty by 2020. He, Xi Jinping, claims to have achieved the goal on time.

Before the beginning of 2021 - the year in which the Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 100th anniversary - the last 9 of 832 counties were removed from the list of counties with absolute poverty. A total of 99 million people are officially released from poverty. This is a triumph for the Chinese people, the Communist Party and the nation, Xi proclaimed. The assembly applauded. It is also a triumph for Xi, as the fight against poverty was one of his major political projects, which he announced when he came to power in 2012.

More than $ 1 90 a day

At first glance, the World Bank seems to agree with Xi. She writes that since the economic opening and reforms that began in China in 1978, more than 850 million people have been lifted from poverty. But are there really no poor people left in China?

According to China's definition, the line of absolute poverty has been overcome when people do not have to worry about clothing or food. Access to compulsory schooling, medical care and safe housing must also be guaranteed. For a county to be removed from the list of counties with absolute poverty, the average per capita income must be more than 4,000 yuan per year.

Because the government relies on the average income, there are still individuals, families and communities who do not reach the per capita annual income of 4,000 yuan, writes the news site "Caixin Global", especially in urban areas that are not under that Rural Poverty Reduction Program fell. The rudimentary social assistance system currently supports around 15 million people in urban areas. But these are by no means all of those in need.

The World Bank has set different limits for absolute poverty, depending on how far a country is economically developed. The absolute lower limit is set at 1 dollar 90 per day. Beijing has exceeded this amount.

But for countries with lower middle income, the World Bank reckons with $ 5.50 per capita per day - according to the World Bank's definition, China, the second largest economy in the world, falls into this category. If you take this limit, 373 million Chinese still live below the poverty line. That is more than a quarter of the country's population.

The party celebrates the success with propaganda series

The rulers in China are aware that prosperity must continue to grow. The previous national authority for the fight against poverty was quickly transformed into an “authority for the revitalization of rural areas”. Because in the country, the regime meets gratitude. The rural population ascribes the improved living conditions and economic progress to the party, for example in Tibet.

So that people don't forget to whom they owe the progress, the national broadcasting authority ordered that television series be produced on the subject of poverty reduction. In the past year alone, 22 such series were broadcast, reports the online magazine "SixthTone". The series “Shanhai Qing” about the resettlement of a poor village in the autonomous region of Ningxia in the 1990s was particularly popular.

The Chinese state says it has invested 1.6 trillion yuan in poverty reduction over the past eight years. More than three million party cadres were sent to poor villages. Large e-commerce companies such as Jingdong and Alibaba also took part in the program and created jobs in rural areas. The program included, on the one hand, the expansion of the social system and, on the other hand, the resettlement of entire village communities in urban areas.