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Inside China’s race to beat poverty

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  1. patience_limited
    From the article:

    From the article:

    Zhaojue is a place in a hurry. The government has set a deadline of the end of this month to end extreme poverty in the surrounding county of Liangshan, one of the most deprived in China. “Win the tough battle to end poverty,” proclaims the central hotel on a red electronic marquee — along with the number of days to the deadline. On the narrow streets outside, farmers rush around with wicker baskets full of produce, and vendors sell shoes and clothes piled high on plastic sheets.

    The roots of this frantic activity go back to 2013, when leader Xi Jinping set a deadline for all of China’s rural counties to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of 2020. In the four decades since market reform began, China has already made huge advances in this area, winning praise from the UN, World Bank and figures from Bill Gates to Bernie Sanders, for raising 850 million people out of extreme poverty.

    For both Xi and the Chinese Communist party, poverty-alleviation goals are more than a policy target. They are also a major source of legitimacy, both inside China and globally. “In my opinion, western politicians act for the next election. [By contrast] China has a ruling party that wants to achieve big goals,” says Hu Angang, a government adviser and head of China Studies at Tsinghua university. “In the history of human development, China achieving this is, if not unique, then at least something worthy of admiration.”

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