By Wang Yu, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan
On 6 April, the State Council of China published a white paper titled “Poverty Alleviation: China’s Experience and Contribution”. The white paper reviews the great journey of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to unite and lead the people in fighting and winning the tough battle against poverty, presents the Chinese practices and share its experiences and lessons learnt. It reveals the secret of success to the world in the most candid manner. There are three main reasons for China’s historic success in ending absolute poverty in the 40 years of reform and opening-up.
First, all poverty reduction efforts have been coordinated under the overall leadership of the CPC. The Communist Party, chosen by all Chinese people, has been leading the Chinese people on the new journey of reform, opening up and socialist modernization, which injects a powerful impetus for innovation and development. China has witnessed rapid socio-economic development, accelerated progress in poverty alleviation and a substantial decrease in the number of people living in poverty. The people of all ethnic groups across the country have been united as one to rise to all challenges and forge ahead in determination, moving from isolation and backwardness to openness and progress, from inadequate food and clothing to a well-off society in an all-round way, and from protracted poverty and weakness to prosperity and strength. Performing one miracle after another in development, the Chinese nation has accomplished a great leap from standing up and becoming rich to becoming strong.
Second, poverty reduction in China has been guided by the people-centered development philosophy. The CPC’s goal is an ambitious yet simple one: a good life for all the Chinese people. It always puts the interests of the people first and bears in mind its long-standing mission to seek happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation. With unswerving conviction and will, the CPC has united the people and led them in their struggle against poverty. With a people-centered development philosophy, the CPC has adopted a series of extraordinary policy measures to promote poverty alleviation so that the income, education, healthcare and living conditions of the impoverished will be improved. The Chinese practice in fighting poverty in the new era has been a profound interpretation of people-oriented development and the most comprehensive and vivid manifestation of the CPC’s purpose of serving the people whole-heartedly.
Third, it is the Chinese magic weapon to fully tap the advantages of the Socialist System with Chinese characteristics. Concentrating on important matters has long been the crystallization of wisdom, consistent proposition and fine tradition of the CPC in leading the Chinese people towards better development. Poverty eradication work covers a wide range of areas and is extremely complex, thus requiring rigorous organization, leadership, and implementation. Relying on the CPC’s political and organizational strength, China has established a poverty eradication management network with the central government acting as coordinator, provincial governments taking overall responsibility, and city and county governments overseeing implementation. The network covers all poor areas and officials are sent to villages to help every needy household. By the end of 2020, a total of 255,000 resident working teams had been sent to the villages and more than 3 million officials had been dispatched as first secretaries and resident officials to poor villages, fighting on the front line of poverty alleviation alongside nearly 2 million township officials and millions of village officials.
Poverty eradication is a difficult problem in the whole world. Countries are with different national conditions and at different stages of development. They therefore follow different standards, approaches and pathways to reduce poverty. As a friendly neighbor of China, Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic country with unique national conditions, history and culture. The Afghan government has made great efforts in poverty reduction and it still faces many difficulties. The various parties in Afghanistan are rooted in the people and have a strong capacity to influence and mobilize the people at the grass-roots level. They should strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the government, actively assist the government in poverty alleviation. A common approach towards poverty reduction and development should be developed by all parties. The Afghan people should be fully mobilized to play a proactive and creative role and assist the government in jointly promoting poverty reduction.
China stands ready to further deepen exchanges and cooperation in poverty reduction with all sectors of the Afghan society, promote the establishment of a new type of such exchanges and cooperation based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation, implement more cooperation projects that benefit people’s livelihood, and work together for the well-being of our two peoples.