President Xi Jinping announced on Thursday that China has secured a "complete victory" in its fight against poverty. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said absolute poverty has been eradicated in the world's most populous country, home to over 1.4 billion people. With absolute poverty eliminated, China has created another "miracle" that will "go down in history," Xi said in a televised speech.
Over the past eight years, the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line have all been lifted out of poverty. All 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 villages have also been removed from the poverty list.
The country has met the poverty eradication target set out in the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule.
Combined with poverty-reduction results since the late 1970s, China is responsible for over 70 percent of the global reduction in poverty over the period, World Bank statistics have shown.
"No country has been able to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in such a short time," Xi said.
Over the past eight years, more than 1,800 people died fighting poverty on the front lines.
Xi acknowledged these fallen heroes at Thursday's event, saying that their sacrifice and contributions "will never be forgotten by the Party, the people and the republic."
Summarizing China's experience in conquering poverty, Xi said the country has blazed a poverty reduction trail and formed an anti-poverty theory with Chinese characteristics.
He underlined the role of Party leadership, which has provided a "political and organizational guarantee" for China's poverty alleviation efforts.
Poverty relief work has been led by the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC with its 90 million members. Party chiefs at all levels were required to assume the primary responsibility for achieving the campaign's ambitious targets. Over 3 million public sector officials were sent from cities and towns to villages to fight poverty "on the front lines."
Funds were channeled to assist the fight. Nearly 1.6 trillion yuan (about 246 billion U.S. dollars) of fiscal funds have been invested into poverty alleviation over the past eight years.
China also leveraged the political advantage of its socialist system, which can bring together the needed resources to accomplish great tasks. This enabled massive programs, such as those pairing up better-off provinces with others in need to tackle poverty.
The country's strategy of targeted poverty alleviation was also highlighted.
Xi said poverty eradication is an important embodiment of the Party's fundamental purpose of "whole-heartedly serving the people."
"Ending poverty, improving people's well-being and realizing common prosperity are the essential requirements of socialism," Xi said.
Shaking off poverty is not the finish line, but the starting point of a new life and new endeavor, Xi said in the speech, demanding efforts to consolidate poverty alleviation achievements and initiate a dovetailing drive of "rural vitalization."
In his speech, Xi said efforts must be made to prevent any large-scale relapse into poverty, and identifying solutions to problems concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers must be the top priority of the Party's work.
"China will attach greater importance to the pursuit of common prosperity," he said.