Speakers from home and abroad took to the stage of the Vision China event on Thursday to share the Chinese experience and stories in curbing poverty.
Held by China Daily, the event delved into China’s success in fighting absolute poverty and examined the historical significance of embarking on a new journey to build China into a modern socialist country. The theme of the event was “the way forward after beating poverty”.
Beate Trankmann, the resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme in China, and Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, addressed Thursday’s event.
The other speakers were: Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation; Wang Xingzui, executive vice-president of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation; David Monyae, director of the Centre for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa; and China Daily reporter Erik Nilsson.
Based on their personal involvement in poverty alleviation, the speakers discussed the methods and gains of China’s sweeping anti-poverty campaign and shared stories of how the nation promoted the global cause of poverty reduction.
In a video speech at the event, Trankmann congratulated China on its eradication of domestic absolute poverty. She said the 750 million Chinese who got rid of absolute poverty over the last four decades made up roughly three-quarters of the global total during that period, a significant accomplishment in efforts to end poverty globally.
China achieved this milestone through its targeted, bottom-up approach, and this has been a valuable reference for other nations, she said.
Trankmann said the UN’s development agency is working with China to promote the nation’s experience in curbing poverty.
“By continuing to apply the same level of resolve as it has in eradicating extreme rural poverty, China can not only build upon the remarkable progress already made nationally, but also continue to contribute to sustainable development globally,” she said.
While addressing the event, Zhou, the China Daily publisher, said that poverty is a “worldwide, centuries-old problem that has plagued mankind since the beginning of history”.
He said less than a month ago, President Xi Jinping declared complete success in China’s protracted, arduous battle to eliminate extreme poverty.
“The Chinese experience contributes to the world’s wisdom, knowledge and solutions for establishing a new paradigm for poverty reduction,” he said.
The nation will boost the coordinated development of urban and rural areas and realize a smooth transition from poverty alleviation to rural vitalization during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, he said.
China will work hard with other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind and be devoted to the establishment of a more resilient, open and inclusive world economy in an effort to create a clean, beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, Zhou added.
Kuhn, a winner of the China Reform Friendship Medal, said he has told Chinese stories for more than three decades and has shared his observations about China’s anti-poverty endeavors.
“China’s poverty alleviation is the best story to undermine biases and disrupt stereotypes about China,” he said.
Kuhn said that China’s success in bringing the COVID-19 outbreak under control and ending extreme poverty was based on three principles — CPC leadership, General Secretary Xi Jinping’s commitment, and CPC mobilization.
“Just as future historians may well look upon China’s fight against the coronavirus as a turning point in worldwide efforts to contain outbreaks of novel diseases, future historians may well recognize China’s fight against poverty as a turning point in worldwide efforts to eradicate extreme poverty,” he noted.
Wang Xingzui of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, a humanitarian relief and development organization, talked about its efforts to fulfill six of the goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — no poverty, no hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation, and decent work and economic growth.
He shared stories about the beneficiaries of its signature overseas programs — including the Smiling Children School Feeding Program, the Panda Pack Project and the Youth Vocational Training Program — and said China is actively fulfilling its “due international responsibility”.
The programs collectively have benefited more than 1.3 million people in 24 countries and have increased people-to-people connectivity, he said.
Wang said the foundation will continue implementing domestic development programs with nongovernmental resources to consolidate poverty reduction achievements and facilitate the national rural vitalization strategy.
David Monyae from the Centre for Africa-China Studies spoke highly of China’s development achievements, saying it has emerged as one of the most critical players in the international arena.
He said the China–Africa relationship has strengthened under Xi’s leadership as China has designated ties with the continent to be of great importance. China ranks highly among Africa’s trade and investment partners.
“Africa has so much to learn from China on how to uplift the majority of Africans from poverty,” he said.
He said China’s zero-poverty announcement coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC.
“The CPC has taken another Long March, this one toward prosperity and global acclaim.”
Monyae noted that going from a poor country to its current status as the second-largest global economy, China’s achievements merit respect.
“The CPC has blazed a trail that no other nation has. Of most importance, its achievements inspire hope in the developing world,” he said.
As a China Daily reporter, Erik Nilsson has spent 15 years exploring poverty alleviation in remote areas in every provincial-region on the Chinese mainland.
Nilsson said he has made it his “life’s mission” to tell the story of China’s poverty alleviation through his reporting and his new book Closer to Heaven: A Global Nomad’s Journey Through China’s Poverty Alleviation.
A Chinese Government Friendship Award laureate, he shared his experience as a reporter in the earthquake-ravaged cities of Wenchuan, Sichuan province, and Yushu, Qinghai province. Wenchuan was hit by a 8-magnitude quake in 2008, and Yushu endured a 7.1-magnitude temblor in 2010.
“Even there, on the ‘planet’s third pole’, China’s poverty alleviation miracle means that the Yushu I returned to is a different place from what I saw in 2011,” Nilsson said.
He said China has been the main driver of global poverty alleviation. “I expect China’s development will continue to accelerate to advance virtually every dimension of human well-being, not only within China but also the world.”
Vision China was launched in 2018 and serves as a major podium for promoting China’s voices via the media group’s position as a globalized, all-media platform that features multilingual and multichannel distribution.
Seventeen previous Vision China events have been held in cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Macao, Hangzhou in Zhejiang province and Lanzhou in Gansu province as well as in New York, London and Johannesburg.
By LI LEI
SOURCE China Daily