China Sets 2020 Target to Lift All Rural Residents Out of Poverty

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Abimbola Akosile

Barring any last minute changes, China, the world’s most populous country and second largest economy, is set to lift all rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty by the year 2020.

The current population of China as of November 4, is 1,411,422,153, while 58.2 per cent of the population is urban (819,767,019 people in 2017), according to the latest United Nations estimates. The remaining 41.8 per cent (591,655,134) reside in the rural areas.

The economic super-power, which has maintained a medium-high average growth rate of 7.2 per cent annually, has already lifted more than 60 million people out of poverty, THISDAY has learnt.

These plans were disclosed by the Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Mr. Chao Xiaoliang at a meeting organised by him in Lagos as part of the activities showcasing the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which took place between October 18 and 24.

Xiaoliang, in an address titled ‘China’s New Era of Development Promote China-Nigeria Strategic Partnership’, which he delivered at the Lagos meeting attended by members of the diplomatic corps and other personalities, stated that “China will push forward the implementation of the ‘Belt and Road’ construction in Africa, and support Africa in implementing the Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The envoy, who noted that Nigeria and China have common interests in terms of national conditions, also expressed interest in the significance of the 19th CPC National Congress to China-Nigeria relations.

“There is a new roadmap for China’s development in the coming decades. The Congress have drawn up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of this century to realise the grand goal of building a socialist modernised country in an all-round way.

“In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernisation is basically realised.”

“In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, we will, building on having basically achieved modernisation, word hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful. In the new era, China will definitely become stronger and wealthier. What will this mean to the world? To Africa, and to Nigeria?”, Xiaoliang said in his address at the meeting.

According to him, “Nigeria and China have common in terms of national conditions, and make the development strategy parallel with complementary potential for cooperation. In 2017, China-Nigeria strategic partnership continued its development. Our economic and trade relations are progressing smoothly, and from January to August this year, the bilateral trade volume reached $8.94 billion, ranked third among that of China with all African countries.

“Under the strong leadership of Xi Jinping, in the past five years, China has made huge achievement in reform, opening-up and socialist modernisation. China maintained a medium-high average growth of 7.2 per cent annually, which contributes about 30 per cent to global growth.

“To focus on the next five years, China will endeavour to import $10 trillion worth of goods and services, and foreign investment reaching $750 billion totally, outbound tourism with 700 million travellers”, the envoy added.
Among those diplomats who attended the Lagos meeting were the Deputy Consul General, Mr. Guan Zhongqi; wife of the C.G., Consul, Mrs. Mao Zhaoxia; Director, Consular & Overseas Chinese Affairs Department, Mr. Yao Wenjun; Director, the Administration Office, Mr. Wang Jianzhong; Acting Director, Economy and Business Department, Mr. Yao Xiaodong; Consular Attache, Mr. Huang Sen, and Public Relation Officer, Ms. Wang Jing.