Human Development Indicators: China Set To Completely Eliminate Poverty In 2020

The timing is meant to mark 100 years of the founding of the Communist Party of China.


China is currently pursuing two centenary goals to mark two milestones in its history. The first is to end poverty, double Gross Domestic Product, GDP and per capita income from 2010 levels, and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society by 2020 – the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Communist Party of China in 1920.

The second is to become a “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” modern socialist country by 2049 to celebrate 100 years of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Since 1978, 700 million Chinese have been assisted out of poverty, accounting for three-quarters of global poverty reduction during the period. The calculation is based on the percentage of people living on less than 1.90 US dollars (1,062 FCFA) a day.

Addressing Chinese and foreign journalists on September 21, 2017 in the capital, Beijing, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, pledged that the over 40 million poor people in the country will be brought out of their predicament by 2020. He added that those still left in their former state in 2020 will be offered special social security grants to enable them live better lives.

At the start of China’s opening up and reform policy in 1978, per capita income was only 100 RMB (8,403 FCFA), with 250 million poor people in the country. The incidence of poverty on the total population was 30.7 per cent. By 2000, per capita income had risen to 625 RMB (52,520 FCFA), with the incidence of poverty on the overall population falling to 8.9 per cent. China’s per capita income tripled to 2,300 RMB (193,273 FCFA) in 2015 and only 55.7 million people were still living under the poverty line, with the incidence of poverty reduced to 8.7 per cent.

Targeted poverty reduction measures have curbed the number of China’s poor to just over 40 million today, with average per capita disposable income standing at 12,932 RMB (1,086,702 FCFA) in the first half of 2017. And with barely two years to go to the deadline for eradicating poverty, it is possible that China will achieve its goal. Having overtaken Japan in 2010 as the world’s second largest economy after the USA, China’s GDP now stands at 11.2 trillion US dollars (6,263 trillion FCFA); as against America’s 18.57 trillion US dollars (10,384 trillion FCFA). This is no small achievement for a nation whose GDP of 147.3 billion US dollars (82,368 billion FCFA) ranked 10th in the world in 1978 when the US was in first position at 2.2 trillion US dollars (1,230 trillion FCFA).

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