China has lifted a massive 68 million people out of poverty since President Xi Jingping came to power in 2013, official media reported on Sunday.
Over 68 million people have been taken off the poverty line – per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan (USD 361) – in the last five years, with an average of 13 million per year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China had around 30.446 million poor residents at the end of 2017, and the country aims eliminate absolute poverty by 2020, roughly 10 million each year, the report said.
In the last five years, the average annual income of rural residents in impoverished areas has risen 10.4 per cent per annum, up 2.5 percentage points above the average for rural residents.
Around 3.4 million impoverished population has shifted into new homes since 2012, and the residence of more than 6 million poor population have been renovated, it said.
In 2012, China’s poverty rate was 10.2 per cent but since then it had dropped to 3.1 per cent in 2017, becoming the first country to complete the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) reviewed a plan on Thursday to evaluate the continued efforts and for improvement in the current plans.
Headed by President Xi, the meeting emphasised that the battle against poverty is one of the ‘three tough battles’ that the country must win to build a prosperous society by 2020.
To achieve the goal, China needs to shift around 30 million poor rural residents out of poverty in the coming three years.
"We must be aware of the difficulties and challenges in winning the battle, and must have a stronger sense of responsibility and urgency in poverty relief," it quoted a statement released after the meeting.
A total of 2.74 million impoverished families saw their income increased thanks to e-commerce poverty relief programmes in the past five years, and 23,000 impoverished villages have benefited from tourism programmes.
Nevertheless, in the eyes of Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, the poverty relief task was still arduous.
The work will shift to areas hit the hardest by poverty, put more emphasis on quality, and be more targeted and precise, Liu said.
"We will work to foster local industries, create new jobs, relocate residents in poor areas...and strengthen aid to the aged, the disabled and people who are seriously ill," Xinhua quoted him as saying.
China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty in the last three decades, that is about 70 per cent of people brought out of poverty worldwide, an official data stated.