China to end poverty by 2020? Are Xi and China biting more than they can chew?

County town
This is where villagers come if they want something they cannot buy or grow in the village. With its chaotic streets, many of which are currently being rebuilt, Chiping has the county's main hospital, schools and shops. Despite its local importance, Chiping is a world away from modern cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Words and pictures by the BBC's Michael Bristow … for more, go to 

China to end poverty by 2020? Are Xi and China biting more than they can chew?

KUALA LUMPUR (January 2018): Can a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion eradicate or end poverty?

If you believe in President Xi Jinping, then it might just happen for China.

In a bold New Year address to his nation, Xi pledges to end poverty in China in three years i.e in 2020.

The Communist leader is not known or to have the habit of talking big or screaming rhetoric.

Even for a small country like Malaysia, after 60 years of achieving Independence from the British, it is still struggling to end poverty.

So, it is rather difficult for many to believe that Xi can end poverty by 2020.

However, do not underestimate the extremely hardworking Chinese who have succeeded in transforming an impoverished nation of billions of people into what it is today - in just four decades or 40 years.

I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road notes that Xi is attempting to end poverty amid an equally mammoth task of powering trans border economic and business activities by constructing road, rail, port and air links in Asia and Europe under the multi-billion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI) (formerly known as One Belt One Road Initiative or OBOR).

Should Xi and China succeed in achieving both initiatives simultaneously, there is no doubt that the Chinese communist leader is set to go down in global history as one of the greatest administrator the world has ever seen.

For BRI investors and followers, Xi and China’s chess-like decisions and moves will no doubt be monitored for the capture of the ultimate piece on the board - The King.

Here’s what Xi said in his New Year (2018) address:

"News > World

Xi in New Year Address: 3 More Years to End Poverty in China
Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 25, 2017. | Photo: Reuters
 Published 31 December 2017

"We have had a lot of gains and also quite a few pains and troubles ... This requires us to enhance our sense of mission and responsibility," Xi said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a New Year聽speech in which he praised the Chinese people for hard work and 鈥済reat creativity,鈥?and promised that China would continue on its path of development and poverty elimination.

In only three more years, by the year 2020, those rural residents who are currently living in conditions of extreme poverty should be lifted above the poverty line.

鈥淚t is our solemn promise,鈥?Xi said. 鈥淥nly three years are left to 2020. Every one of us must be called to action, do our best 鈥?This is a great cause, important to both the Chinese nation and humanity. Let's do it together and make it happen,鈥?he said.

鈥淏uilding a high-rise begins with mounds of soil,鈥?Xi borrowed from an ancient Chinese proverb.

He praised progress made in 2017, saying that during the year, medical coverage expanded to 1.35 billion people in China聽and 10 million were lifted out of poverty in rural areas.

Ecological improvement in China also marked the year, with stringent new measures resulting in a notable decrease in pollution in Beijing and other major cities compared to previous years.

In spite of his praises for China's development, Xi also acknowledged that many mistakes have been made along the way and that China has a long way to go.

"Our great development has been achieved by the people, and its fruits should be shared by the people. I am aware of the people's biggest concerns, such as education, employment, income, social security, healthcare, old-age security, housing and the environment. We have had a lot of gains and also quite a few pains and troubles. Our efforts at improving people's well-being have not always been satisfactory. This requires us to enhance our sense of mission and responsibility, to achieve solid and effective results in improving the people's welfare."

The President vowed that China would continue to expand its role internationally, through involvement in the United Nations, and constructing the Belt and Road Initiative, which is a massive project for international development and investment promoted by Xi. It is intended to link China with the world economy.

"Regarding the prospects of humanity's peace and development, there is both expectation and concern; all sides are awaiting a clear Chinese stance. All under heaven are one family. As a responsible major country, China must speak out ... China will act as a builder of world peace and a contributor to global development and an upholder of the international order. The Chinese people are willing to join all peoples of the world in creating a beautiful future of greater prosperity and greater peace for mankind," he said.

The president thanked those who sent him letters for the new year, particularly from ethnic minority regions: "Their stories touched me deeply. The people have made sacrifices for the good of the nation without regrets or complaints. I feel the greatness of the ordinary Chinese people, and I also feel we need to work hard to achieve happiness."

Concluding the New Year聽address, Xi addressed himself to party members and government officials, saying that they "must regard the benefit of the people as the highest career achievement."

While 2017 saw China's international role expand drastically, this coming year of 2018 will be the first one in which China begins to implement the plans and strategies laid out in the landmark 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which set development goals for the next 20 years.

The year also marks 40 years since China's 鈥渙pening up鈥?under former president Deng Xiaoping, during which various market-friendly reforms were introduced within a state-planned economy, with the intention of allowing for faster development of the country. - teleSUR

Beggar in the 1930sThere are three degrees of poverty: 1) extreme, or absolute, poverty defined by the World Bank as a household that gets by on less than $1 a day, not enough to support the basic needs of survival; 2) moderate poverty, defined as living on $1 or $2 a day, where basic needs are met but just barely; and 3) relative poverty, as defined by income below a certain level of the national average … for more, go to
China Poverty Statistics – The Full Picture
Extensive research has lead to a solid understanding of the causes of poverty in China. Estimating the number of people in poverty in China is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall, though. When looking for China poverty statistics, we found it confusing to find a consensus. It requires some sort of standards for the cost of living (widely varies) and accurate census data (often outdated). With the world economies shifting from month-to-month, poverty stats are a moving target. To further complicate things, the World Bank has recently adjusted the international poverty line up to $1.90 a day from $1.25 a day. Experts argue the change has little net effect on the poverty levels, but the headcounts have changed. That means poverty stats from 2015 have to be revised even though they’re based on the same 2010 census data … for more, go to