Chinese news outlet Xinhua has released the full remarks of President Xi Jinping from a 23 June symposium on the eradication of poverty which took place in Shanxi Province.
During his speech President Xi stated that he seeks to embark on a three year plan to fully eradicate rural poverty in the county.
The Chinese economic boom which begun during the reformist era of Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping, has transformed China from a mainly agrarian developing economy to an industrial powerhouse and leading exporter. The IMF has recently stated that it expects to move its headquarters to China within a decade as it is projected with almost complete certainty that in terms of GDP, the Chinese economy will soon outpace that of the United States which had led the world for most of the 20th century and into the 21st. In many other areas, China already leads the world.
Three major developments have occurred under the leadership of Xi Jinping which have had further transformative effects on China.
First of all, it was during XI’s period in office that in 2013, China announced One Belt–One Road, the wide reaching trading/commerce infrastructure plan which seeks to harmonise world trade and elevate the trading capacities of both developing and developed economies. Crucially, unlike western derived schemes such as the WTO, One Belt–One Road does not include any requirements on governance or a nation’s economic characteristics. Instead, China seeks to integrate each nation’s growing capacities along wide reaching land roads and maritime belts in an interlocking system which plays to the existing and projected strengths of economies across several continents.
The second great achievement of the Xi era has been the flourishing of China’s internal market for not only basic goods but also Chinese made luxury goods. It is not out of the question that in the near future China’s number one market for Chinese made goods, will in fact be China, just as this was the case in respect of the United States during much of the 20th century.
Finally, China is rapidly moving on a path towards energy self-sufficiency and doing so in a manner that relies greatly on green technology. New cities in China are increasingly running primarily or entirely on solar energy at a pace which outstrips every other major nation and global region.
In many ways, the logical final frontier of China’s march towards full prosperity is the eradication of what remains of poor conditions in some rural areas.
President Xi said the following on the subject,
“We must send our best talents to the front line of the tough battle with extreme poverty. All levels of government should actively send cadres to station in poor villages in an effort to fortify the party leadership”.
“The priority for the next stage is to solve the problems of social services, infrastructure and a basic medical services shortage in areas with deep-rooted poverty issues”.
The South China Morning Post further reports that Xi’s plan includes the following goals
–An equitable distribution of land in poor rural areas
–Relocate certain residents in decrepit areas to areas with modern living and working accommodations
–Improve rural medical facilities and care, with an emphasis on the elderly and ill
–Employ local residence in environmental protection initiatives
–Improve rural education
–Create new transport infrastructure to poor rural locations
–Create a plethora of new jobs in rural areas
–Remove 12 million people from the official definition of poverty
President Xi has stated that he believes these ambitious goals can be accomplished in spite of their broad scope. He has said,
“As long as we pay great attention, think correctly, take effective measures and work in a down-to-earth way, abject poverty is absolutely conquerable”.
China’s growth between 1978 and the present day has confounded most naysayers and defied the trends which have shaped modern expectations for economic and infrastructural growth.
Based on this reality, there is every chance that President Xi’s ambitious plans will in a few short years, become a settled reality for China.