Keynote Speech by Ambassador Liu Yuxi at the Seminar on China’s Poverty Reduction Practice Supports AU Agenda 2063
22 June 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Seminar on China's Poverty Reduction Practice Supports AU Agenda 2063. First I would like to express my sincere gratitude to UNECA and China-Africa Institute for their co-sponsorship and also to the African Union Commission for its strong support to this event.
Poverty is a chronic affliction of human society and a significant challenge to African’s development and governance. Poverty and its associated problems, including hunger, diseases, and social conflicts, are serious impediments to people’s pursuit of a better life.
As the largest developing country in the world, with a population of 1.4 billion, China has been plagued by poverty for a long time. The Communist Party of China stays true to its founding mission and taken on its responsibility of seeking happiness for the people and revival for the nation, unite and lead the people of all ethnic groups and carry out the arduous struggle against poverty with unswerving faith, organize and implement the tough fight against poverty that is unprecedented in scale and intensity, and has benefited the largest population in human history. From the nation’s liberation to solving the food and clothing issues, from the basic well-off to comprehensive well-off, China has made great contribution to global poverty reduction through its own development. Since the reform and opening up, according to the current poverty standards, 770 million rural impoverished population in China have been lifted out of poverty. At the important moment of the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, China won a full victory in the fight against poverty, achieving the poverty reduction goal of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, and significantly shrinking the territory of the world's impoverished population. This is a year worth being recorded in the history of overcoming extreme poverty, so that countries in the world can be inspired to continue the fight against poverty.
Bearing in mind our prevailing reality, China has embarked on a path of poverty alleviation and designed some original approaches with Chinese characteristics. The nation has upheld the CPC leadership and the people-centered philosophy, and taken advantage of one of the strengths of our socialist system – the ability to pool resources on major endeavors. In this battle, CPC’s leadership is the root, targeted measures are the essence, capital investment guarantees the endeavors, participation of all parties creates the synergy, and mass motivation safeguards the victory against poverty. The Five Measures for Targeted Poverty Alleviation include: boosting the economy to provide more job opportunities; relocating poor people from inhospitable areas; compensating for economic losses associated with reducing ecological damage; improving education in impoverished areas; and providing subsistence allowances for those unable to shake off poverty through their own efforts alone. China’s valuable experience in poverty reduction belongs to both our country and the world, which has explored a new path for poverty reduction for human society.
In recent years, Africa is one of the most fast-growing regions in the world and has achieved substantial progress in poverty reduction. But the Covid-19 pandemic takes severe toll on the economic development and poses severe challenge to poverty alleviation in African countries. In the recently released 2021 Financing for Sustainable Development Report by the UN, it holds that the pandemic will cause about 120 million people to fall back into extreme poverty and risks of food shortage will arise in Africa. Under this context, it becomes even more important for all countries to strengthen cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 and poverty.
As a responsible big country, China is committed to eliminating its own poverty and actively participating in international poverty reduction cooperation through expert exchanges, cooperative research and technical assistance. In Africa, China has helped African countries build water infrastructure, vocational and technical schools, government-subsidized housing and other facilities, set up demonstration zones for agricultural cooperation, and carried out China-Africa cooperation projects involving a Chinese-invented technology using grass to grow mushrooms, China-Africa friendship hospitals, and the headquarters of the Africa CDC. China has also set up the International Research and Training Center for Rural Education and other institutions in cooperation with UNESCO, and carried out projects on rural education transformation and teacher training for African countries. Not long ago, China and Africa jointly launched the Initiative on Partnership for Africa's Development with the aim of converging the strength of global partnership to help Africa tide over difficulties.
China will continue to uphold the concept of community of shared future for mankind, actively carry out international cooperation, fulfill our international responsibility, and strive to be a strong promoter of poverty reduction in Africa. In the post-pandemic era, China will continue to share its poverty reduction experience with African countries in various ways and help African countries formulate more reasonable and effective national poverty reduction strategies. We will deepen the connection of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC) and the Belt and Road Initiative with AU Agenda 2063, especially help to achieve AU’s aspiration to eradicate poverty in one generation and build a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. We will continue to support the construction of African Continental Free Trade Area so as to enhance the competitiveness and bargaining power of African countries in international trade. Within the upcoming new FOCAC’s framework, we will explore more targeted assistance projects to implement more effective poverty reduction programs in Africa.
China's experience in poverty alleviation indicates that poverty is not predestined, nor is it unconquerable. With strong will and determination, as well as practical action, one can make steady progress towards overcoming poverty and realizing common prosperity. China is willing to accompany and help Africa in poverty reduction, so that the fruits of China-Africa friendly cooperation can benefit more Chinese and African people.
I wish the seminar a complete success!