Deep in the Wuling Mountains in northwestern of Central China’s Hunan Province liemany beautiful and unique villages of Tujia and Miao ethnic groups. Featuring Wuyuan-style rural architecture, terraced farmland and boundless green fields, these villages are truly a feast for the eyes. Shibadong is an epitome of them. Once poverty-stricken, Shibadong is now known for its success in shaking off poverty. Guided by the concept of “targeted poverty alleviation”by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, this once impoverished remote village has realized moderate prosperity with a beautiful environment and better-off life for the people.
In 2013, General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Shibadong, during which he put forward the importantideaof “targeted poverty alleviation”for the first time. “In fighting poverty, we must avoid paying only lip service or setting unrealistic goals. Instead, we should follow a reality-based, case-by-case,category-specific and targeted approach.”Putting this ideainto practice, Shibadong actively explored a new model of targeted poverty alleviation which could be applied elsewhere. It developed industries by harnessing local natural resources and adopted poverty alleviation measures tailored to each household. Bearing in mind the words of General Secretary Xi, the local CPC Party branch led the villagers in overcoming perennial poverty, completely transforming the lives of the villagers and the face of the village. The per capita net income rose to 18,369 yuan ($2,845）in 2020 from 1,668 yuan in 2013. The whole village has been liftedout of poverty, and is now making great strides on the path of rural revitalization. Shibadong serves as a fine example of targeted poverty alleviation campaign in China.
China’s achievements in poverty reduction have attracted attentionfrom the rest of the world.In November 2017 when Xi visited Laos, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and Lao presidentBounnhang Vorachithhad a heart-to-heart conversation with him.
BounnhangsaidLaos has greatnatural endowments, but its agriculture is held back bya lack ofcapital and technology.
Xi replied that the agricultural sector can be a key area of bilateral cooperation. China can not only help Laos make good use of its natural strengths, but also help more people rise above poverty.
In June 2018, Ben Yangpaida special visit to Shibadong Village. The Lao leader and his party were impressed by the peaceful and prosperous village life in the green mountains.Bounnhang interacted with the villagers and county- and village-level officials of the Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture about the villagers’livelihood.He said he was happy to hear Shibadong’s tremendous changes in a short period of time and its success in ending poverty by acting upon general secretary Xi’s idea of targeted poverty alleviation. China’s approach to make Party secretaries at five levels, namely the village, town, county, municipal (prefecture), and provincial levels, fully undertake their poverty-alleviation responsibilities to ensure thorough implementation gave him much food for thought. There were still many poor people and households in Laos, and the poverty alleviation experience and practice of Shibadong areworth learning. Laos and China are good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners: the two Parties and countries have always worked side by side and supported each other in times of need. We should learn from and help each other to achieve common development.
During the Songkran Festival of Laos (Lao New Year) in April 2019, Shibadong villagers wrote a letter to Bounnhang, updating him about development in the village over the past year and sent their new year greetings. Bounnhang wrote back to the villagers soon after. He recalled the warm hospitality he and his delegation received and noted that the success of Shibadong provides valuable experience for Laos in its effort to reduce poverty and graduate from under-development.
The approach of“targeted poverty alleviation,”reflecting Chinese wisdom, has won international recognition. On December 20, 2018, under China’s initiative, the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Eradicating Rural Poverty to Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”co-sponsored by G77 and China. Concepts such as “targeted poverty alleviation,”“cooperation for the benefit of all,”and “building a community with a shared future for mankind”advocated by General Secretary Xi Jinping were written into the resolution, offering China's solution for eliminating rural poverty around the world.
At the National Poverty Alleviation Summary and Commendation Conference on February 25, 2021, General Secretary Xi Jinping declared that“China, at the important moment of the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, has won an all-round victory in the fight against poverty with the joint efforts of the whole Party and people of all ethnic groups. All the 98.99 million rural people living under the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty and all the 832 poverty-stricken counties and 128,000 poor villages have graduated from poverty.”“This is another great miracle in history!”At the conference, Shibadong Village was awarded the National Role Model in the Fight Against Poverty.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres saidthatChina’sachievement is an important contribution to the realization of a better and more prosperous world as envisioned by theUN2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China’s extraordinary accomplishmenthasbrought hope and inspiration to the entire international community.
China’s experience in poverty reduction has provided courage, experience and strength for more people on this planet as they strive to shake offabsolute poverty. What has happened in China fully demonstrates that poverty is neitherpredestined nor invincible, that the rights to subsistenceand development are the primary human rights, and that poverty reduction is a noble pursuitthat requires resolute action. Standing at a new starting point, China will sharewithout reservationwith the rest of the worldits secret of success in poverty eradication, and continue to workwith other countries for the noble cause of peace and development of mankind.