Wen Jiabao Vows To Eradicate Chinese Poverty By 2020

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chinese authorities have released a series of announcements indicating that they might be beginning to correct their share of the so-called “global imbalances” by channeling domestic spending and revving up imports. While Premier Wen Jiabao announced on Saturday that his administration would look to “actively boost consumer demand,” the government-approved China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) announced a record number of Chinese trade delegations would make the rounds this year, as “maintaining balanced trade is now an urgent task for China.”

Whether the announcements are pure rhetoric or actually hold some firepower is impossible to tell, but Chinese authorities have been raising the issue of trade imbalances and domestic growth with greater frequency as of late. Forbes contributor Gordon Chang reported that on Saturday, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, in the so-called Chinese State of the Union, the “Work Report,” stated that his administration would “actively boost consumer demand” as they “continue to increase government spending [in order to] help expand consumption, and increase subsidies to low-income urban residents and farmers.”

Echoing his own statements, Premier Jiabao told a panel on Sunday at the National People’s Assembly that China would “basically eradicate poverty” by 2020, according to China Daily. Through a new ten-year poverty-reduction plan, the government would substantially raise the current poverty line of 1,296 Yuan a year (about $0.5 a day) and help lift millions out of poverty. According to data from the UN, 150 million Chinese citizens would be considered poor under the international body’s “one dollar a day” threshold.

Source: Forbes (link opens in a new window)