SCIO briefing on the white paper
'Poverty Alleviation: China's Experience and Contribution'
Beijing | 10 a.m. April 6, 2021

The State Council Information Office (SCIO) issued a white paper titled "Poverty Alleviation: China's Experience and Contribution" and held a press conference about it in Beijing on Tuesday.


Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and minister of the State Council Information Office

Tang Renjian, director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs and minister of agriculture and rural affairs

Wang Zhengpu, vice director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs and administrator of the National Rural Revitalization Administration

Hong Tianyun, vice administrator of the National Rural Revitalization Administration

Xia Gengsheng, vice administrator of the National Rural Revitalization Administration


Chen Wenjun, head of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO

Read in Chinese


Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and minister of the State Council Information Office (SCIO)

Tang Renjian, director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs, and minister of agriculture and rural affairs

Wang Zhengpu, deputy director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs, and head of the National Administration for Rural Vitalization

Hong Tianyun, deputy head of the National Administration for Rural Vitalization

Xia Gengsheng, deputy head of the National Administration for Rural Vitalization


Chen Wenjun, head of the Press Bureau and spokesperson of the SCIO


April 6, 2021

Chen Wenjun:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this briefing held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and thanks to the concerted efforts of the Party and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, China has attained a complete victory in the fight against poverty, creating a great miracle in the history of human poverty reduction. Today, the SCIO has issued a white paper titled "Poverty Alleviation: China's Experience and Contribution," which is the topic of today's press conference.

We have invited Mr. Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and minister of the SCIO, to brief you on the white paper. Also present are: Mr. Tang Renjian, director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs, and minister of agriculture and rural affairs; Mr. Wang Zhengpu, deputy director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs, and head of the National Administration for Rural Vitalization; and Mr. Hong Tianyun and Mr. Xia Gengsheng, deputy heads of the National Administration for Rural Vitalization. They will answer your questions. Next, we will give the floor to Mr. Xu for an introduction.

Xu Lin:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media:

This year marks the centenary of the founding of the CPC. Since its inception, the CPC has taken the happiness of the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the nation as its original aspiration and mission, and united and led the people in the fight against poverty. The 100 years of the CPC's development have been a century when the Party has worked hard to eradicate poverty and backwardness and to ensure better lives for the people.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China has adopted a series of bold policies and measures to fight a decisive battle against poverty that is unprecedented in scale and intensity, and has benefited the largest number of people in human history. At the grand gathering held this Feb. 25 to mark China's achievements in poverty alleviation and honor its model fighters against poverty, General Secretary Xi Jinping solemnly declared: Victory in the battle against poverty is complete, and China has completed the arduous task of eliminating extreme poverty.

Today, the SCIO has issued the white paper "Poverty Alleviation: China's Experience and Contribution." The document records the course of the CPC uniting and leading the Chinese people in the fight against poverty, and particularly efforts made to achieve a complete victory since the 18th CPC National Congress, introduces China's approach, and shares its experience and actions in poverty alleviation.

The white paper, which extends to more than 30,000 Chinese characters, consists of a preface, main body, conclusion and appendix. The main body includes five parts: "The Solemn Commitment of the CPC," "Final Victory in the Fight against Extreme Poverty," "The Strategy of Targeted Poverty Alleviation," "Exploring a New Path of Poverty Alleviation" and "A Global Community of Shared Future Free from Poverty." The paper is an important historical record that offers a comprehensive picture of China's poverty alleviation effort.

China's fight against poverty entered a critical stage after the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. At the end of 2020, following eight years of hard work, China achieved the goal of eliminating extreme poverty — a key goal for the new era of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The 98.99 million people in rural areas who were living below the current poverty threshold all shook off poverty; and all 128,000 impoverished villages and 832 designated poor counties escaped poverty. Our complete victory over extreme poverty is an outstanding achievement in the history of both China and humanity. As stated in the white paper, the battle against poverty has been another great revolution in rural China, leading to historic and comprehensive changes. The campaign boosted overall rural development and laid a solid foundation for building a modern socialist China and realizing the Second Centenary Goal.

China's poverty alleviation experience 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 toward overcoming poverty and realizing common prosperity.

According to the white paper, China's complete victory over extreme poverty shows that the CPC has held fast to its original aspiration and mission, and demonstrates its ability to lead politically, to guide through theory, to organize the people, and to inspire society. It shows the strength of socialism with Chinese characteristics in pooling resources to solve major problems. It highlights China's spirit, China's values, China's strength, and the willpower of the Chinese people to strive to realize dreams with bold resolve "which dares to make sun and moon shine in new skies." It exemplifies the fearless and indomitable character of the Chinese nation — determined to struggle and resolutely overcome all difficulties and challenges along the way.

The strategy of targeted poverty alleviation is a major innovation in the theory and practice of poverty alleviation, and China's strongest weapon in its final battle to secure victory against poverty. In its poverty elimination efforts, China has launched a series of guidelines and measures to increase efficiency, summarized as accomplishing "Targeted Efforts in Six Areas" (efforts to accurately identify the poor, arrange targeted programs, utilize capital efficiently, take household-based measures, dispatch first Party secretaries based on village conditions, and achieve the set goals), taking "Five Measures for Poverty Eradication" (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), and addressing "Five Questions in Poverty Alleviation" (who should help, who should be helped, how to help, how to evaluate whether someone has emerged from poverty, and how to ensure those people stay free from poverty).

The white paper emphasizes that in addition to securing a sweeping victory in the final battle against poverty, the strategy has also given a powerful boost to modernizing China's national governance system and capacity, and to enriching and developing the CPC's guiding philosophies and governance strategies in the new era.

In its practices, China has embarked on a path of poverty alleviation and designed an approach with Chinese characteristics, offering enlightenment to the international community in its battle to reduce poverty. The white paper provides China's proposals and approach for poverty alleviation from the perspectives of upholding a people-centered philosophy, highlighting poverty alleviation in national governance, eradicating poverty through development, letting the poor play the principal role, and pooling all resources to create synergy.

China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, and the world needs China for further development. China has been actively engaging in international cooperation in poverty reduction and acts as an advocate, facilitator, and contributor to the international cause of poverty alleviation. According to the white paper, as China is home to nearly one-fifth of the world's population, its complete eradication of extreme poverty – the first target of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 10 years ahead of schedule, makes an important contribution to the cause of global poverty alleviation. China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with other countries on poverty reduction and make a greater contribution to building a global community based on a shared future that is free from poverty and blessed with common prosperity.

Shaking off poverty is not the finish line but the starting point of a new life and new endeavor. As the world's largest developing country, China still has much to do to bridge the gap between unbalanced and inadequate development, narrow the gap between urban and rural areas and between regions, and realize people's all-around development and common prosperity for all. China will continue to consolidate the results of poverty elimination, dovetail new measures with rural vitalization, and comprehensively push forward rural vitalization by introducing more vigorous measures and pooling more resources. The white paper has depicted a bright future of China's rural vitalization and its development by the years 2035 and 2050, saying that the nation will continue to march towards higher goals of all-round development for the people and common prosperity for all.

This is the end of my introduction. Thank you!

Chen Wenjun:

Thank you, Mr. Xu. The floor is now open for questions. Please identify the media organization you represent before asking questions.


China Central Television (CCTV):

During his remarks at the grand gathering this February to mark the nation's poverty alleviation accomplishments and honor model poverty fighters, General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that China has accomplished its poverty alleviation target of the new era as scheduled and secured a complete victory in its fight against poverty through eight years of sustained work. My question is: how do we understand this "complete" victory? Thank you.

Tang Renjian:

Thank you for your question. At the ceremony to mark the nation's poverty alleviation accomplishments and honor model poverty fighters, General Secretary Xi Jinping declared that China has secured a complete victory in its fight against poverty and created another miracle that will go down in history. It is a historic and comprehensive victory.

First, China has completely eliminated extreme poverty for the first time in its history. Through eight years of arduous work, the 98.99 million people in rural areas who were living below the current poverty threshold all shook off poverty ; all 832 designated poor counties and 128,000 impoverished villages got rid of poverty; and China has eliminated poverty over entire regions, fulfilling its solemn commitment of "leaving no one behind" as it builds a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China has completely eliminated extreme poverty for the first time in its history of thousands of years, and realized a century-long aspiration of the Chinese people.

Second, those people who have been lifted out of poverty have seen significant improvement in their living standards. The per capita disposable income of the rural poor more than doubled, increasing from 6,079 yuan in 2013 to 12,588 yuan in 2020, up by 11.6% per annum on average. The Two Assurances and Three Guarantees [referring to the assurances of adequate food and clothing and guaranteeing access to compulsory education, basic medical services, and safe housing for impoverished rural residents] have been realized. People who have been lifted out of poverty now have adequate food and clothing. Nine-year compulsory education is now available to all children from rural poor households. All poverty-stricken populations now have access to basic medical insurance, critical illness insurance, and medical assistance, thus effectively resolving the problem of access to and affordability of medical services. Around 25.68 million impoverished people from 7.9 million households have moved into proper accommodation, bidding farewell to their dilapidated houses built of materials like beaten earth mixed with straw. Rural subsistence allowances, extreme poverty relief funds, and basic pension schemes now cover almost all people in need. The welfare of special disadvantaged groups is constantly improving. Over 24 million poor people with disabilities as well as the severely disabled have now been provided with living allowances and nursing subsidies.

Third, poverty-stricken areas have gotten rid of backwardness. Infrastructure has been improved. Lack of access to transport, electricity, drinking water, and means for communication have been resolved. By the end of 2020, impoverished areas had gained 1.1 million kilometers of reconstructed highways and 35,000km of new railways, making all villages, townships, and towns in poverty-stricken areas with the right conditions accessible by paved road and provided with bus and mail routes. Effective irrigated areas have increased by more than 5.35 million hectares. Almost all rural areas enjoy a steady power supply. Over 98% of poor villages have access to optical fiber communications (OFC) and 4G technology. Tap water coverage has increased to 83% in regions that have been lifted out of poverty. Arid areas like Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Gansu province now have access to clean and safe drinking water. Each impoverished county has created a batch of new industries with distinctive features and greater capacity to facilitate poverty alleviation efforts, and increased their industrial sustainability, laying a solid foundation for rural vitalization for the next step.

Fourth, those who have been lifted out of poverty have adopted a new mindset. The battle against poverty is a complete victory on both the material and mental level. It has rekindled people's desire to seek a better life. Impoverished people have been inspired to seek prosperity through hard work, self-reliance, and entrepreneurship. They have gained a stronger sense of self-reliance and a deeper desire to rid themselves of the shackles of poverty and achieve prosperity. Each household now tries to find ways to become prosperous and each village builds businesses that help them get rid of poverty. They are ready to compete in the race to prosperity. The impoverished have been constantly upgrading their mindsets and gained a deeper understanding of markets, technology, and innovation. They have greater confidence, more active minds, and higher aspirations. Good social practices, including filial piety, harmonious neighborhoods, and modest weddings and funerals, have been promoted. A healthy and civilized lifestyle has become the new pursuit of the people who have been lifted out of poverty.

Fifth, grassroots social governance in poverty-stricken areas has been greatly improved. More than 3 million first Party secretaries and resident working team members have been selected and dispatched to carry out anti-poverty campaigns on the frontlines. Grassroots Party organizations have improved their capabilities while carrying out CPC's rural work and poverty alleviation efforts. With closer relations between the villagers and village officials, and between the Party and the people, people in poverty-stricken areas have greater trust and confidence in the Party. Self-governance by villagers is becoming more effective. As villagers are involved in discussions and management of their own affairs, they become more active in participating in grassroots governance. Collective income in impoverished villages has greatly increased. Currently, the average collective income in impoverished villages across the country has exceeded 120,000 yuan. Village organizations have become more capable of serving the people. Grassroots management and service systems in those areas are constantly improving, inspiring vitality in local communities, and forming a new dynamic for social harmony, stability, and progress.

The complete victory in poverty alleviation has fully manifested the strengths of the CPC leadership and the advantages of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. A will to unite as one, do our best, set targets, adopt a pragmatic approach, be pioneers, innovate, tackle tough issues head-on, and live up to our people's trust, has formed in the great endeavors of poverty alleviation. It will continue to inspire us to fully vitalize the countryside.


Prensa Latina:

I'd like to know what is the plan for China to prevent rural people from returning to poverty? Thank you. 

Wang Zhengpu:

Thank you for your question. After China's overall victory in the battle against poverty, the first problem we have to deal with is to prevent people from sinking back into poverty. People who have been lifted out of poverty and those on the verge of poverty are at risk of returning to poverty again, so we have made considerations in this regard, and I'd like to answer this question in the following five aspects: 

First, we have established a long-term mechanism. It aims to provide monitoring and assistance to prevent a return to poverty. We will mainly monitor people's income, the implementation of the Three Guarantees (access to compulsory education, basic medical services, and safe housing for impoverished rural residents), as well as safe supply of drinking water. All of these have been our priorities in poverty alleviation. By conducting such monitoring, we intend to spot any trends that indicate a return to poverty early on and intervene through various supportive measures. The central authorities will on a regular basis analyze and inform the situation, thus improving the monitoring and assistance mechanism to help those rural people with a low income. Based on national conditions and that of rural areas, we will provide categorical assistance to different regions in order to safeguard people's basic living needs in rural areas.  

Second, we will ensure that our policies are consistent and stable. The central authorities have given a five-year grace period to those counties which have escaped poverty. During this period, we will continue to provide and improve our major support policies to give them a leg up to get them going. We will further adjust, optimize, and improve those existing assistance policies and the resources leveraged for intensive poverty elimination will be gradually redirected towards an extensive drive for rural vitalization. In this regard, over 30 complementary policies have been made and they will be gradually released.

Third, we will strengthen assistance. We will continue to provide follow-up assistance to those who have been relocated from inhospitable areas. We will adopt targeted measures to develop industries based on local conditions and provide more job opportunities, as well as enhance infrastructure construction and improve public services. In order to boost industrial development, we will shore up technology, equipment, funding, and marketing, and ensure all of these aspects will be improved to a higher standard. Regarding job opportunities, we will stabilize last year's employment levels and try our best to create more job opportunities for those who have escaped poverty. Moreover, we will prioritize assistance for key counties. The central authorities have decided to identify key counties in China's western region in order to help them achieve rural vitalization. Authorities at the provincial level should also offer help to their own key counties. Such assistance will be provided according to region and category and be implemented through concrete measures. 

Fourth, we will continue to pool possible resources and forces. We have learned that it is crucial for us to pool all possible resources and forces in the fight against extreme poverty. We will continue to adopt such policies and measures, including eastern-western collaboration, paired-up assistance, the "10,000 enterprises help 10,000 villages" project, military assistance, and we will continue to dispatch officials as first secretaries and working teams to those key villages. 

Fifth, we will continue to ensure responsibilities are fulfilled. During the grace period, we will continue to implement the policy of Party secretaries at the five administrative levels of province, city, county, township, and village, working together to consolidate and extend the outcomes of poverty alleviation and fully advance rural vitalization. More evaluations will be carried out over the status of formerly impoverished people and areas in order to evaluate the quality and efficiency of poverty alleviation, and Party committees and governments at all levels will continue to take responsibility to ensure that people do not sink back into poverty in large numbers.

Follow-up assistance for the relocated population is also very crucial. The number of people who have been relocated during our poverty alleviation efforts is relatively large. For those in the large resettlement sites, we will adopt some special policies and measures to help them. I'd like to invite Mr. Hong to introduce more about these measures. 

Hong Tianyun:

I'd like to add some more information about relocating people from areas. Mr. Wang has talked about our efforts to ensure that people do not sink back into poverty in large numbers, and this is something that we attach great importance to. We all know that during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China relocated more than 9.6 million people from inhospitable areas and achieved complete victory in poverty alleviation. The number of relocated people, which is probably unprecedented worldwide, is almost equivalent to the population of a moderately developed country. Our priorities at present are to ensure that follow-up support will be given to the resettled population so that they will remain out of poverty after a smooth relocation and resettlement as well as remain employed and have a promising future. We will offer follow-up support in the following aspects: 

First, we will intensify our efforts to help the resettled population have adequate job opportunities and stable employment. We will help them build up self-belief, ensure their access to education and skills training, as well as help them boost the industrial development by offering them employment-specific assistance. Moreover, we will help those relocated change their ideas about employment and improve their skills. We will also organize them to work in other places and create more channels for them to find employment in places near where they live, to ensure that every relocated family with a labor force will be able to find jobs.  

Second, we will promote follow-up industries to be developed in a sustainable way. In the wake of the problem that emerged in some resettlement sites due to the imbalance between industrial development and structure of the labor force, we will ensure that local authorities will make the sustainable development of follow-up industries part of their counties' overall economic development, thus leveraging their comparative advantages and encouraging primary, secondary, and tertiary industries to develop in a coordinated way. 

Third, we will strengthen infrastructure construction and improve public services. As we all know, more than 9.6 million people have been relocated from inhospitable areas. There have been 35,000 centralized resettlement sites each with a population of over 800, and over 60 large communities each with over 10,000 people. These sites must be equipped with infrastructure providing such services as drinking water, electricity, transportation, and communication. We must accelerate the construction of those facilities which have yet to be fully completed, accelerate to improve an integrated and equalized public service system, and encourage both new and old residents to share the public services.

Fourth, we will build resettlement communities featuring openness and inclusiveness. We will improve community governance with an emphasis on humanity and enrich people's spiritual and cultural lives. We will encourage relocated people to communicate with local residents, and increase their sense of belonging, identity and happiness in their new communities and new places of residence, so as to create a harmonious and friendly environment in the resettlement communities and promote openness and inclusiveness.

After Mr. Wang started working in the National Administration for Rural Vitalization, he has prioritized follow-up support measures. As the former head of the Department of Organization of the CPC Sichuan Provincial Committee, he was once in charge of the resettlement communities in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan province. He explored many good methods and accumulated experience in the construction of community grassroots organizations and how to make grassroots Party organizations and Party members the backbones of communities. Currently, we are rolling out the work nationwide to reassure, unite and satisfy the people. Thank you. 


New York Times: 

When I went to southeastern Gansu, I found many families who had been helped by the poverty alleviation program. If they were registered as extremely poor in 2015 and 2016, but if they became poor in 2017, they could not get into the program. Are you going to make it easier for people to enter or are you going to re-register those who are extremely poor? And second, just as you announced today, is China's poverty alleviation program practical for other developing countries that may not have as much financial resources or organizational resources as China? Thank you. 

Wang Zhengpu:

Thank you for your questions. I will answer your first question and Mr. Xia will answer the second. China's poverty alleviation program contains a lot of effective methods and experience. After the critical battle of poverty alleviation began, we had plenty of lively and practical cases, which made the battle diversified in term of forms, and effective in results. The experience can be summarized into the following aspects, which can be learned from by the international community. 

First, adopting a people-centered philosophy. The CPC strives for the goal of ensuring a happy life for the Chinese people. That is the purpose and mission of the CPC. In alleviating poverty, the whole Party united together and, under this guiding philosophy, concentrated the strength from all sectors to promote good lives for the people. I think this experience is very important. 

Second, highlighting poverty alleviation in national governance. The CPC has always regarded China's common prosperity as its target, and poverty alleviation as an important task for ensuring national peace and stability. It has highlighted poverty alleviation when setting its policies and guidelines, and when formulating five-year plans and national plans for medium- and long-term development. The Party has pooled national resources to advance this cause. Especially since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has prioritized poverty eradication in its governance, strengthened top-level design, increased fiscal investment and mobilized people from all walks of life. An institutional system for reducing poverty has been built, which has effectively supported the smooth advancement of poverty alleviation. 

Third, eradicating poverty through development. There is a saying in the poverty alleviation cause: "Poverty alleviation should be taken as the greatest opportunity for development." Development plays a decisive role in poverty alleviation. We must address the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development through economic development. Since the PRC's founding in 1949 and especially since the launch of reform and opening-up in 1978, the country has witnessed rapid economic and social development, with the economy and national strength growing steadily, which has won global recognition. This economic development has greatly promoted poverty alleviation, laid a firm foundation, and provided solid support for large-scale development-driven poverty alleviation efforts. 

Fourth, pressing ahead with poverty alleviation based on the actual conditions and a realistic appraisal of China's situation. China has set its poverty threshold and its poverty alleviation goals and strategies in a scientific way, and worked to create better ideas and methods. It has advanced this undertaking step by step and with steady efforts. After socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era, General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed the strategy of targeted poverty alleviation. The approach shifted from broad-brush policies to targeted measures based on specific conditions. The model of poverty alleviation changed from mainly relying on external support to a more sustained, self-motivated effort. The assessment system has shifted focus from regional GDP as the main indicator to the genuine results of poverty alleviation. The methods and experience are all based on China's situation. I consider this to be an important experience for other countries' poverty alleviation work as well. Every country and region has its own conditions, on which its poverty alleviation must be based. 

Fifth, letting poor people play the principal role. This encourages them to play their part, since they are the main players in eliminating poverty. China has inspired its people living in poverty to strive for prosperity and has provided them with the necessary education, so that they have the ambition to emerge from poverty and the tools to succeed. With education and training provided by the government, improvements to poverty alleviation methods, and the building of an incentive mechanism, poor people are encouraged to rely on their own efforts to escape poverty. 

Sixth, pooling all resources to create synergy. This is the political, systematic and organizational advantage of the CPC. I mentioned just now a slew of practices such as the eastern-western collaboration, fixed-point poverty alleviation carried out by government institutions and enterprises, and the campaign of "10,000 businesses helping 10,000 villages." Other political parties, federations of industry and commerce as well as prominent individuals without party affiliation have leveraged their strengths to contribute intellectual and material support. All sectors of society have united with common purpose and acted in unison to care about poor people and care for the cause of poverty alleviation.

We have summarized the six methods above as reference for the international community in alleviating poverty. As for the registering of people as poor, this is crucial in targeted poverty alleviation. I will let Mr. Xia answer this question.

Xia Gengsheng:

Thank you for your questions. It is fair to say that targeted poverty alleviation holds the golden key to securing victory against poverty and is also an innovative and most significant means during this latest battle against poverty. Identifying and registering people in need is the first step of targeted poverty alleviation. As we know, identifying people in need is a weak link that exists concerning our poverty alleviation work in poor areas. This is a dynamic process that involves preliminary identification, relatively accurate identification, and then accurate identification which cannot be achieved overnight. Since the launch of identification and registration projects in 2014, a total of 29.48 million poor households and 89.62 million poor people have been identified. For the first time, China has identified the distribution of its poor population, the cause of their poverty, and their individual needs. Between August 2015 to April 2016, we reviewed our work, disqualifying those ineligible for poverty alleviation, while also adding those who met the conditions but went overlooked. These procedures have been adjusted annually since 2017 in a bid to improve the accuracy of our work.

This shows that China's identification of poor households is dynamic, rather than a once-and-for-all thing. This is of crucial importance regarding how we identify targets, no matter whether it is during our battle against alleviating extreme poverty or the consolidation of the results of poverty elimination. Our identification methods involve three aspects. First, poor households are encouraged to apply for help themselves because they best know their difficulties and weaknesses. Second, grassroots officials are in the best position to report on the situation on local conditions as their daily work is closely related to the lives of poor people. Third, data-matching from different sectors can also help us identify the poor. Through big data analysis such as sudden and drastic medical expenses or the plummeting of income due to unemployment, we can identify, intervene, and support those in need promptly and help them apply for assistance. In addition, we also set up the "12317" hotline to allow for the supervision and reporting of misconduct in poverty alleviation work. Individuals who are eligible but weren't included in can call this number so that we can check and solve the problems. Thank you.


Market News International:

Experts predict that these over 100 million rural residents who have recently shaken off poverty could be the main middle-income spending force in the future. What kind of work should be done in order to help them move into middle-income groups? My second question is about infrastructure investment in rural vitalization. Will there be any financial support on the policy side? What will be the major methods in this regard? Will this increase the burden of debt for local governments? Thank you.

Wang Zhengpu:

You've raised two important questions. The first question is about how to help low-income populations become middle-income groups. This is Mr. Xia's field of work, so he will take this question. The second question is about investment, financing, and local government debt, which is Mr. Hong's field of work. Let's give the floor to them. Thank you.

Xia Gengsheng:

This is a good question. Although China has secured victory against poverty and a basic standard of living is now guaranteed among those who have shaken off poverty, a portion of them continues to live with a low income, and there remains a certain gap between them and middle-income groups as you mentioned. Helping the people who have just shaken off poverty gradually become a middle-income group will benefit our people, country, and the world. Once these 100 million people become middle-income earners, tremendous potential will be released by their spending activities and industrial development. To achieve a leapfrog development from poverty alleviation to middle-income level, we need to work on the following three aspects:

First, we need to promote income growth through industrial development. On the basis of effectively ensuring the supply of food and major agricultural products, we need to speed up efforts to develop specialized farming and livestock breeding methods that utilize local strengths, as well as develop the agricultural-product processing industry. We also need to foster new industrial and business models such as rural tourism, rural e-commerce, and real-life experience activities in rural areas. We need to extend the industrial chain, improve the value chain, and build the supply chain. Currently, we also need to redouble our supportive efforts via consumption. Over the past few years of poverty alleviation works, the farming and livestock breeding industries have produced many goods. Thus, we need to support them via consumption and translate their harvest into income, in a bid to build their capacity for self-development.

Second, we need to promote income growth by stabilizing employment. Employment is an important way of increasing income and ensuring its stability will help ensure a fundamental income for those lifted out of poverty. This year, we set the target of providing no less than 30 million job opportunities to people lifted out of poverty, and this has so far proved successful according to the current situation. These people now choose to either work as migrant workers or in areas closer to home, and the smooth flow of people between the two has been ensured. Migrant workers are organized by the labor cooperation program between eastern and western regions. This can provide targeted assistance for migrant workers in need and help them increase their income. In terms of job opportunities in places close to their homes, they are provided help via local poverty alleviation workshops, leading enterprises, and public-service sectors. In addition, carrying out vocational skills training programs is very important and can help those people lifted out of poverty to gain upgraded job opportunities and improve their potential for employment and income.

Third, we need to promote income growth via innovation, startups and entrepreneurship. Rural areas, especially those lifted out of poverty, have huge development potential and there are many ways and opportunities for them to promote income growth. This is opening new prospects for people to engage in innovation and start businesses. We will continuously improve the ecosystem for rural areas in innovation and business. For people who have been lifted out poverty and have the competence, are business-minded, and show willingness, we will encourage them to start businesses and increase their income. We will also focus on the training of family farm operators, farm cooperative leaders, innovation and business pioneers, rural e-commerce talents, and rural craftsman in a bid to promote entrepreneurship in rural regions and help those who have emerged from poverty increase their income and gain wealth. Thank you.

Hong Tianyun:

I'll answer the second question. The infrastructure investment for rural vitalization is mainly focused on rural development. Conducting the rural development initiative is a major arrangement made at the fifth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee and an important focus for comprehensively promoting rural vitalization. This year marks the first year of comprehensively carrying out the rural vitalization development initiative and we will strive to succeed in the following five aspects: planning, construction, services, governance, and investment guarantees.

First, we will focus on planning. Rural plans are the blueprints for rural development. Planning should come before construction. As people often say, planning should be made scientifically and on a long-term basis, while construction should be pragmatic. We will clarify the layout and classification of villages, actively and orderly formulate a practical village scheme that integrates multiple plans, and realize the full planning coverage of those villages that have conditions and needs. Since the rural vitalization strategy was put forward at the 19th National Congress of the CPC, China's eastern region has taken the lead and gained good experience. We must start from the current basis and reality, retain the characteristics of the countryside, and avoid disordered and aggressive demolition and construction. In particular, we must strictly regulate the demolition and merger of villages, and must not force farmers to move into apartments. Rural development is to serve its residents.

Second, we will focus on rural infrastructure construction. We will continue to prioritize public infrastructure construction in the rural areas and strive to promote infrastructure coverage in villages, and by extension, to households. Access to "water, electricity, road, communication, and internet," energy supply, sanitation facilities, and garbage and sewage treatments are all basic elements necessary for modern civilized life in rural areas and the main focus of our rural development. We will guide local governments to determine the development priorities in light of local conditions and meet the most pressing needs of the rural residents. 

Third, we will focus on providing services. We will improve the level of basic public services in rural areas, establish a mechanism for balanced allocation of public resources between urban and rural areas, strengthen the allocation of basic public services to rural areas, and gradually unify urban and rural standards and systems. Next, we will concentrate on key issues such as rural education, healthcare, elderly care, and social security, and continue to realize equal access to basic public services in urban and rural areas.

Fourth, we will focus on governance. We have launched a five-year campaign for improving rural living environments to promote the marked upgrading of urban and rural appearances. We will give priority to supporting household sanitation in the rural areas of China's central and western regions, and advance toilet upgrading and sewage treatment in rural areas in an integrated manner. We will encourage the sorting and treatment of household waste at the source in rural areas where conditions permit and intensify efforts to make villages cleaner and greener, making rural areas more livable and rural residents more satisfied.

With the four "focuses" mentioned above, investment in rural development must be guaranteed. We should, through innovating the mechanism of investment and financing, form a diversified investment pattern featuring prioritized financial guarantees, focused financial support, and active social participation. Earlier, Mr. Tang introduced the No. 1 Central Document for 2021 and answered questions from the press. As we all know, this year's No. 1 Central Document issues a series of specific policies for input guarantees. According to the document, the general public budget should continue to prioritize spending on both agriculture and rural areas, and the central government spending on agriculture and rural areas should be further expanded. In addition, the share of the revenue from land transfers diverted to rural areas should be increased and local governments should be supported in issuing general bonds and special bonds for modern agriculture facilities and rural development to continue to enhance their financial support.

Rural vitalization is a long-term and historic task. While proceeding with the work, we must spare no efforts within our capacities and seek truth from facts. At the same time, the relevant departments have also been very strict in managing local government debts. We believe that the debt burden among local governments won't increase overall and is manageable. Thank you.


Shangyou News:

My question is about how poverty alleviation has been promoted in ethnic minority areas and how poverty reduction achievements will be consolidated in these areas next? Thank you.

Wang Zhengpu:

Thank you for your questions. As one of the main battlefields in the fight against poverty, ethnic minority areas have long been lagging behind, and many such areas, in particular, have a small population and a weak foundation. We have paid great attention to these areas in the fight against poverty. Mr. Xia will give you more details in this regard.

Xia Gengsheng:

As we all know, China is a big family composed of 56 ethnic groups, sharing the common name of the Chinese nation. Our country has made unity and common progress as well as common prosperity and development the theme of the Chinese nation's work in the new stage for a new era. Regarding poverty alleviation, General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed on many occasions that no single ethnic minority group should be left behind in the country's building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This is a solemn commitment of the CPC. We can see it from three junctures. The first is the eight-year poverty alleviation campaign. During this period, China has always made ethnic minority areas and ethnic minorities the key areas and key groups of its poverty elimination endeavors and has adopted targeted strategies to consistently support them. For example, the central government has allocated nearly 300 billion yuan in poverty alleviation funds, or 45% of the country's total, to the eight provinces and autonomous regions with large ethnic minority populations (Guizhou, Yunnan, and Qinghai provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region) over the past eight years. In addition, integrated government funds for rural development in the eight provinces and autonomous regions made up 39% of the country's total. Meanwhile, support in finance, land, human resources, and other aspects have also been weighted toward these regions, providing a strong guarantee for winning the battle against poverty in ethnic minority areas.

The second juncture was on June 23, 2017, when General Secretary Xi Jinping presided over a symposium in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, on poverty alleviation in severely impoverished areas. According to issues discussed during the symposium, most ethnic minority areas were considered severely impoverished areas. The "three areas" (Tibet Autonomous Region, the Hotan, Aksu, Kashgar prefectures and the Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture in southern Xinjiang, and prefectures and counties with large Tibetan populations in the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai) and the "three prefectures" (Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan, and Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu) were made the key battlegrounds for the elimination of poverty. That meant that new poverty reduction funds, projects, and measures were weighted toward these regions. It is fair to say that through extraordinary support, severely impoverished areas have accelerated in casting off poverty and no longer drag national efforts down.

The last important time is 2020, final year for winning the battle against poverty. In the year, we speeded up our efforts to lift the remaining 52 impoverished counties, mostly located in ethnic minority areas, out of poverty. This was considered the last task for eliminating extreme poverty. After relentless efforts, extreme poverty was eliminated among all minority ethnic groups including 28 with small populations. Some ethnic groups, still at the later stage of primitive society when the PRC was founded in 1949, have now been enabled to make the great leap to socialism and, then again, great strides towards achieving moderate prosperity in all respects. General Secretary Xi Jinping's solemn promise that no ethnic group should be left behind on the way to eliminate poverty has been fulfilled. Per capita net income of the poor in the five autonomous regions (Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia and Xinjiang) and the three provinces with a large multi-ethnic population (Guizhou, Yunnan and Qinghai) have increased significantly, breaking through the 10,000-yuan mark at the end of last year. This was higher than the income level for the poor registered under the national system of identifying people in need to know whom to help. This is a hard-won achievement. Social and economic development in ethnic minority areas have accelerated notably, basic living and working conditions have improved and tremendous changes have taken place. People of minority ethnic groups now have a much greater sense of gain, happiness and security. We visited some of those freed from poverty in Liangshan last week. Their happiness could be seen on their faces. This is a very big change in recent years. According to third-party evaluation, by the end of 2020, the average satisfaction level of the general public for the poverty elimination work in the aforementioned eight provinces and autonomous regions was above 94%, showing the battle against poverty is a project beneficial to the wellbeing of the people winning their heartfelt approval. 

To consolidate the results of poverty elimination, we will continue to prioritize ethnic minority areas and their people as we move forward. We will make targeted efforts in the following respects: First, we will work to ensure that the support policies for formerly impoverished groups will be effectively implemented in all ethnic minority areas. Just as my colleagues said a moment ago, we will make sure that people do not sink back into poverty in large numbers. Second, we will continue to strengthen preferential treatment to ethnic minority areas. For key counties in the rural vitalization program, again mostly located in ethnic minority areas, we will adopt preferential policies and give concentrated fiscal, financial, land, talent, infrastructure and public service support to strengthen their points of weakness at a faster pace and improve their development capacity. In addition to these counties, the government will also support the whole of Tibet and Xinjiang to consolidate the results of poverty alleviation and promote rural vitalization. Paired assistance for Tibet, Xinjiang and the prefectures and counties with large Tibetan populations in the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai will remain unchanged. Third, we will further increase budgetary input. During the period of grace, fiscal investment will remain stable and composition of fiscal spending will be optimized. 

With these measures, we hope to ensure no ethnic minority area and people will be left behind in the efforts to consolidate the results of poverty alleviation and good performances will be delivered in pursing common prosperity. Thank you.


Xinhua News Agency:

My question is for Mr. Xu. In the past eight years, we have lifted nearly 100 million rural poor out of extreme poverty. Why was China able to achieve this? The white paper has offered much information, but what do you think is the most important reason? What experience have we gained for eliminating extreme poverty? Thank you. 

Xu Lin:

Thank you for your question. The main reason behind China's success in eliminating extreme poverty is the six experiences introduced by Mr. Wang just now. The most important of all, I think, is that the Communist Party of China cares for the people. From the Party leader to ordinary Party officials, we all put people first. 

For the past century, one generation of Party members after another have made continuous efforts toward the goal of seeing that the people can live a good life. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has prioritized poverty elimination in state governance and mobilized the whole Party and the whole country to engage in the battle against poverty.

Soon after the 18th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Fuping in Hebei province to inspect development-driven poverty alleviation work there. During the visit, Xi clarified the relationship between eliminating extreme poverty and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and mobilized the whole Party and the whole country to work hard to win the battle against poverty. 

General Secretary Xi Jinping was always concerned with impoverished regions and families in straitened circumstances, has always put poverty alleviation at the top of his work agenda and devoted much energy to it. He has assumed leadership, made plans, and directed the battle in person, and called meetings to hear reports and make plans at every critical stage of the battle. He has presided over seven central seminars on poverty elimination and made over 50 fact-finding trips, giving important instructions clarifying the direction of poverty alleviation.

He has visited every one of the 14 contiguous poor areas across the country and over 20 poor villages, and sat in impoverished households to hear of their difficulties, suggestions and needs.

You may still remember moving scenes in many news reports. For example, in Yuangudui village, Dingxi city of Gansu province, General Secretary Xi walked into a low and poorly-lit rural home and took a drink of water from a water vat by the wall with a gourd ladle to taste the quality of water the villagers were drinking. 

In Zhangzhuang village, Lankao county, Henan province, holding the hand of villager Zhang Jingzhi, General Secretary Xi looked at the 85-years-old's kitchen and bedroom. He also chatted with the family to learn about their grain output, whether they had received agricultural subsidies and if they were covered by subsistence allowances and medical insurances. 

General Secretary Xi's visits to the poor, his fact-finding trips and the plans he has made all embody the deep love of the people's leader for the poor, and have warmed their hearts, roused their enthusiasm to fight poverty and greatly boosted the confidence and morale of the whole Party and the whole country to win the battle against poverty. 

Poverty alleviation is a battle without smoke. On this battlefield, Party officials have dedicated themselves with great zeal, fulfilled their promises with actions and took great pains and even sacrificed their lives in exchange for the happiness of the poor. Here, I would give the examples of two ordinary Party officials. 

The first example is Jiang Haiquan, who was sent by the National Audit Office to serve as the first secretary of Jiashi village in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, Guizhou province. When he arrived at the village, initially the villagers respectfully stayed out of his way because they thought that Jiang, having previously worked in a ministry in the big city of Beijing, would have no idea of the general situation in such a mountain village. However, Jiang visited the villagers to get to understand what problems they were facing, listened to their opinions, and helped them one by one. Gradually, the villagers accepted and respected him very much. When his two-year term was about to expire, all of the villagers jointly signed a petition marked with their thumbprints, hoping that he would continue to work in the village. He also couldn't bear to leave, so decided to work in the village for another two years. His daughter was only 3 years old when Jiang left for the village to help with the poverty alleviation; by the time he returned home, she was already in elementary school. His daughter missed her father but was sensitive for her age, saying that although her father hadn't come back home to accompany her to Children's Day for three years, she had her father's letters and promise that he would come back when the children in the mountain village lived a happy life like her.

Another example is Yang Ning, secretary of the Party branch and head of the village committee of Jiangmen village in Rongshui Miao autonomous county, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. She graduated from Guangxi University in 2010 and before applying to work as a village official in her hometown, becoming an assistant to the village director. She has devoted herself to helping lift the villagers out of poverty, working to change her hometown. As a member of the Miao ethnic group herself, she explored ways of poverty alleviation with her fellow Miao villagers and finally found a way to increase people's income by developing high mountain ecological agriculture. Worrying about her hometown fellows who had not yet completely escaped poverty, she decided to stay in the village even after her two consecutive terms had expired. In 2017, she was elected as the head of the village committee with a high approval rating. Now, with 326 poor farmers in 94 households in Jiangmen village having been lifted out of poverty, poverty has been eradicated. Yang Ning said that everyone has ideals and dreams and her dream is to use the knowledge she has learned to help the Miao people out of poverty and toward prosperity.

These grassroots cadres and poverty relief workers are ordinary people, and what they have done may seem trivial but is very pragmatic. It is these grassroots cadres, poverty relief workers, and CPC members who are the powerful forces of winning the battle against poverty. Thank you.


After winning the battle against poverty, the focus of the work related to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers has historically shifted to promote rural vitalization in an all-round way, which involves all aspects of the above-mentioned work. What's the next priority? Thank you.

Tang Renjian:

Thank you for your question. From poverty alleviation to promoting rural vitalization in an all-round way, a landmark change and strategic transition has been made in the work related to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers. The rural vitalization efforts have been mentioned several times in the previous questions and answers. Many examples are vivid and touching. We have worked in local departments and witnessed so many stories. Therefore, for the next step, we must continue to promote comprehensive rural vitalization in line with these guiding principles, ideas, and requirements.

Promoting rural vitalization in an all-round way involves a wide range of sectors. We do need to think carefully about where to start and what we should prioritize. We need to take all factors into consideration, while at the same time focus on some major work. The focus is as follows: First, we must first ensure food security. To the people, foodstuff is all-important. This is our top priority in governing the country. We will strongly implement the food crop production strategy based on farmland management and technological application, which lay a material foundation. The key is to solve issues related to seeds and arable land and to develop the seed industry. We will work to maintain the red line of 1.80 billion mu (120 million hectares) of arable land and one billion mu of high-standard farmland, which are the cornerstone of food security. At the same time, it is necessary to provide benefits to the farmers who grow grain and to make sure the local Party committees and governments shoulder their responsibilities. We must establish a mechanism guarantee of "two supplements," which is supplement by benefits and supplement by obligations. "Supplement by benefits" refers to allowing farmers to make profits from growing grain by improving corresponding agricultural prices and subsidy policies. "Supplement by obligations" refers to consolidating the obligations and responsibilities of local Party committees and governments regarding food security. In short, our goal is to ensure that the national grain output exceeds 1.3 trillion jin (650 million metric tons) and rises steadily, not only this year but also during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). At present, the summer grain is growing very well—a good sign of the harvest to come.

Second, we will consolidate poverty alleviation outcomes. It is not easy to win the battle against poverty, and by no means easy to consolidate this historic achievement. In general, we will maintain a stable assistance policy in areas that have escaped poverty and identify a number of key counties in the western region to help them develop and promote rural vitalization. For those who are prone to falling back into poverty, a dynamic monitoring mechanism will be established to identify and assist as early as possible. In brief, efforts must be made to prevent any large-scale relapse into poverty.

Third, we will develop rural industries that can benefit people. Increasing rural residents' income is a key approach to solving many problems in rural areas. As mentioned just now, we will make use of the multiple functions of rural areas—not just agriculture—because providing food is not the only advantage of these areas. We can give full play to other advantages, including ecological conservation, leisure tourism, and cultural inheritance. We will develop new industries and business formats such as rural tourism and recreation; promote the integration of primary, secondary, and tertiary industries in rural areas; maintain industries in the countryside as much as possible; and extend the industrial chain so that farmers can participate and benefit more.

Fourth, we will build the "hardware and software" in villages, and promote the coverage of public infrastructure in rural areas and extend it to households. I mentioned in previous press conferences that infrastructure problems have been basically solved at the level of administrative villages, and some have been solved at lower levels, but there are still gaps. Therefore, going forward, our focus is to promote solutions below the level of administrative villages, especially roads, which includes roads leading to different parts in villages, main roads in villages, as well as industrial roads, resource roads, and tourist roads for industrial development. We need to build these roads. Next, we will resolve the issue of cold chain logistics for storing agricultural products and keeping them fresh. It involves the upward movement of agricultural products from villages into the cities, and the downward movement of industrial products into villages and households. Solving these two major problems will not only improve the lives of the people, but also promote agricultural production. These facilities are our next priority. At the same time, we will improve the level of public services in rural areas, strengthen improvements to rural governance, improve social etiquette and civility in villages, and strive to further advance cultural and ethical progress. After a period of hard work, the look of the countryside will change both inside and out. Thank you.


Phoenix TV:

Some media outlets have stated that China's current poverty alleviation standards are lower than the standards set by the World Bank. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you.

Wang Zhengpu:

This is a frequently asked question, and I noticed that many reporters also asked this question during the sessions of China's top legislature and top political advisory body held this March. The spokespersons of the two sessions have already answered it many times. Since you're asking again today, let's allow Mr. Hong Tianyun, deputy head in charge of the matter, to answer your question.

Hong Tianyun:

Thank you very much. The determination of national standards based on the national economy, the level of social development and the basic living needs of the poor population have been consistent and ongoing practices in China since the implementation of the large-scale, planned and organized poverty alleviation program. China first formulated poverty alleviation standards in 1986. The standard at that time was 206 yuan, and the corresponding number of people living in poverty was 125 million. The priority was to solve the problem of food and clothing. The second time was when the country's first 10-year Outline of Development-driven Poverty Alleviation in Rural Areas was formulated in 2001, when the standard was raised to 865 yuan, corresponding to 94.23 million poor people. The third time was the formulation of the China's second 10-year Outline of Development-driven Poverty Alleviation in Rural Areas in 2011. The standard was raised again to 2,300 yuan, which was based on the 2010 constant price, corresponding to 122 million poor people.

Since the poverty alleviation work began, the identification and alleviation of the poor population in China have been based on the unit of households. The measurement standard is "one income, two no-worries and three guarantees," which is easy for grassroots and frontline officials and people to remember. What are the identification standard and poverty alleviation standard? They are these "one," "two," and "three." The "one income" refers to the annual per capita net income stably exceeding the current national poverty alleviation standard, which is 2,300 yuan as I just mentioned, with the current amount being about 4,000 yuan by 2020. The "two no-worries" and "three guarantees" refer to stable realizations of "no worries about food" and "no worries about clothing," as well as guarantees on "compulsory education," "basic medical care" and "housing safety." In the specific implementation process, the guarantee of the safety of drinking water is also included. The standard for the lifting of the poor population out of poverty in China is a comprehensive multi-dimensional standard, which not only considers income, but also the realization of poor people's rights to live and to develop. On the whole, it is higher than the extreme poverty standard of the World Bank, and also higher than the absolute poverty line determined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development set by the UN in 2015. It reflects the reality of China's socio-economic development and the basic requirements for building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.

I would like to share a statistics report. By the end of 2020, the net income per capita of China's registered poor population reached 10,740 yuan, far exceeding the international extreme poverty standard. Next, in accordance with the relevant requirements and arrangements of the CPC central committee and the central government on effective connection between consolidating and expanding the results of poverty alleviation and rural vitalization, we will maintain the overall stability of the existing policies, support and further help areas and people lifted out of poverty; continue to support the development and growth of industries of rural characteristics in poverty-alleviation areas; promote stable employment for people who have escaped poverty; provide solid follow-up support for people relocated from inhospitable areas; ensure stable and continuous income growth for people lifted out of poverty; and move toward the goal of gradually realizing common prosperity for all. Thank you.

Yomiuri Shimbun:

China's goal is to achieve more obvious substantive progress for the common prosperity of everyone by 2035. In order to achieve this goal, it is essential to increase the income of farmers and develop rural areas. What kind of policies and measures will the National Administration for Rural Vitalization adopt? Thank you.

Hong Tianyun:

Thank you. The topic of rural vitalization is very popular today, and my colleagues have responded from different angles and aspects. By 2035, we will make more obvious substantive progress in achieving common prosperity for everyone as a mid- to long-term strategic goal set by the CPC and the central government. Rural vitalization involves a wide range of areas. It is a long-term and arduous task. It needs to bring together the powerful forces of the whole Party and all aspects of society to promote its implementation, and requires coordinated operations and joint advancement by all regions and departments. There is an old saying in China: "When everyone helps gather firewood, the flames rise high." I hope everyone will work together to promote, support and participate in this work.

We are duty-bound to promote rural vitalization in an all-round way. The administration for rural vitalization will work with relevant departments to further promote the implementation of various measures. At the same time, we must focus on the key points. Regarding the increase in farmers' income, this will mainly be achieved by developing industries, promoting employment, and continually increasing farmers' operating income and wages. This is the main source of income for rural people in China, and we must make great efforts to do it well. Regarding the development of rural areas, the next step is to start implementing rural construction activities, vigorously implement rural infrastructure construction, continuously improve the level of public services in rural areas, and promote the development of urban and rural integration. Meanwhile, we will continue to strengthen rural governance, promote the development of rural social undertakings and rural culture, further advance cultural and ethical progress, and continuously improve the level of good governance in rural areas. Our country is very large, and the differences among provinces, regions and municipalities are relatively big. East China is one step ahead, and there are many mature and successful experiences. The central and western regions are doing relevant work in a concrete, detailed and competent manner through studying and promoting these experiences.


China Daily:

We know that the National Administration for Rural Vitalization has already been established. We are very curious about how it operates. Could you please introduce it? My second question is: Now that the country's "No. 1 central document" for 2021 requires a rural construction action plan to be launched this year, what priorities do you have for implementation of the first year of the plan? Thank you.

Wang Zhengpu:

I know you all have a keen interest in knowing more about our rural vitalization work as well as the National Administration for Rural Vitalization. After the victory in the battle against poverty is complete, the focus of work related to agriculture, rural areas, and rural people will be shifted to comprehensively promoting rural vitalization. As a result, some adjustments will be made to the relevant institutions. The central government has decided that the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs will undertake the functions of the former State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development will be restructured to become the National Administration for Rural Vitalization. The Administration now falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and is mainly in charge of consolidating the achievements of poverty elimination and coordinating all concrete activities to implement the rural vitalization strategy.

As we shift our focus from poverty alleviation toward comprehensively promoting rural vitalization, our work will target a broader group, cover more areas, and meet higher standards. The task of comprehensively implementing the rural vitalization strategy is not second to the fight against poverty in depth, breadth, and difficulty. I may say that departments related to rural vitalization work shoulder major responsibilities and have a lofty mission to perform. We will further enhance the sense of responsibility, perform our duties strictly as the National Administration for Rural Vitalization, continue to promote the spirit of fighting poverty and achieve new victory on a new journey toward rural vitalization.

We are now carrying out overall planning for the rural vitalization work. I hope that journalists and media will provide support and assistance for our work. Also, we welcome your supervision. Let us join hands and create synergy in promoting the healthy development of China's rural affairs. 

The nature, main content, and main targets of the rural vitalization strategy are clearly defined. We take the strategy as a key driver in work related to agriculture, rural areas, and rural people in the new era. Its main content includes vitalization in five areas, namely industrial vitalization, talent vitalization, cultural vitalization, ecological vitalization, and organization vitalization. The strategy's overall goal is also clear, that is, to build rural areas with thriving businesses, pleasant living environments, social etiquette and civility, effective governance, and prosperity. We also set clear phased goals for rural vitalization in 2025, 2035, and 2050. Meanwhile, there will be some specific targets set by each Five-Year Plan that will promote step-by-step rural vitalization. China is a vast country with a huge population, and local conditions vary greatly from region to region. Local authorities have their specific goals, measures, and means in promoting rural vitalization. We believe that under the general goal set at the central government level, local authorities will surely meet their set targets at every stage through constant exploration and efforts. 

As for your second question, the rural construction work is now progressing steadily. The main target of the work is to upgrade existing infrastructure facilities. During its fight against poverty, the country has input a large amount of manpower, material, and funding to step up the development of infrastructure facilities in impoverished areas. So far, great improvements have been made and witnessed by all regarding roads, water supply, telecommunication facilities, and other village-level public infrastructure facilities in impoverished areas.

The next target for us to work toward is the further promotion of rural construction. The other speakers also talked about this topic just now. For example, roads should be extended to reach village communities and households. Some special roads for industry or tourism should also be further extended. A large number of existing infrastructure facilities need to be upgraded and constant efforts should be made in this regard. Furthermore, we will step up the improvement of rural living environments by upgrading toilets, sewage treatment systems, and the domestic garbage collection and transfer system. Statistics show that 68% of rural populations now have access to sanitary toilets and nearly 90% of domestic garbage undergoes centralized treatment. Now, our greatest weakness lies in domestic sewage treatment in the rural areas and we have invested heavily in this area. Currently, local authorities have been dealing with this problem in different ways, such as connecting with the sewage system in cities and building independently operating sewage treatment facilities, as well as other local approaches. All in all, I believe that the rural construction action plan will surely make new progress with the constant efforts made by local authorities. 

The rural vitalization strategy has attracted wide attention and concern from all sectors of society since the concept was first raised at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. We hope that journalists attending this press conference will help publicize the positive approaches adopted by local authorities so that they can learn from each other and jointly promote the healthy development of rural vitalization work. Thank you.

Tang Renjian:

I would like to add something. There are three institutions in charge of the rural vitalization work, namely the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the National Administration for Rural Vitalization. Among them, only the last institution's name reflects its role in promoting rural vitalization. In the future, the Office of the Central Leading Group for Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will study and promote the establishment of laws, regulations, plans, strategies, and major policies on rural vitalization, so as to perform their functions from different perspectives and levels. Thank you. 

Chen Wenjun:

Thank you, speakers, and many thanks to journalists. Today's press conference is concluded. See you next time.

Translated and edited by Zhang Liying, Guo Yiming, Gong Yingchun, Liu Jianing, Zhu Bochen, Xu Xiaoxuan, Yuan Fang, Chen Xia, Wang Yanfang, Zhou Jing, Li Xiao, Li Huiru, Fan Junmei, Liu Qiang, Zhang Rui, Wang Qian, Wang Yiming, Yang Xi, David Ball, Jay Birbeck, Tom Arnstein and Geoffrey Murray. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

/8    Xu Lin

/8    Tang Renjian

/8    Wang Zhengpu

/8    Hong Tianyun

/8    Xia Gengsheng

/8    Chen Wenjun

/8    Group photo

/8    White paper