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China issues white paper on poverty reduction in rural areas

BEIJING, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Wednesday unveiled a white paper on its poverty reduction efforts in the past decade, highlighting achievements and challenges for China to bring common prosperity to its more than 1.3 billion people.

The white paper, titled New Progress in Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Program for Rural China, was released by the State Council Information Office.

It introduces China's policies, achievements, special programs, social involvement and international cooperation in the fight against poverty.

It was the Chinese government's second white paper on poverty reduction after it issued the first edition of such document in 2001.

According to the white paper, China's poverty-stricken rural population fell from 94.22 million at the end of 2000 to 26.88 million at the end of 2010, an equivalent to lifting the entire population of France out of poverty in the past decade.

The proportion of poor people in the country's rural population decreased from 10.2 percent in 2000 to 2.8 percent in 2010.

The Chinese government defines those who earn less than 1,274 yuan (about 200 U.S. dollars) in income a year as "poor people" after the nation raised the national poverty line for rural residents from 865 yuan in 2000 to 1,274 yuan in 2010.

By the end of 2010, the illiteracy rate of young and middle-aged people had dropped to 7 percent, 5.4 percentage points lower than in 2002, according to the white paper.

Although China's overall national strength has been greatly improved, the Chinese government is clearly aware that China remains a developing country with low per-capita income and is faced with the serious challenge of narrowing the gaps between urban and rural areas, between different regions, and between the rich and poor, says the white paper.

The white paper says China will continue to shoulder its international duties suitable to its development phase and development level and actively participate in international poverty reduction as a responsible country.

China is keen to continue working with the international community to create a beautiful and poverty-free world where people enjoy common prosperity, says the white paper.

Full Text: New Progress in Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Program for Rural China

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