The Chinese government proposed a national poverty alleviation plan five years ago and vowed to make China a xiaokang society. A Confucius term from 3000 years ago, xiaokang means a condition of moderate prosperity. Recently, the Jiangsu Provincial Poverty Alleviation Office announced amazing results. The province’s poverty alleviation rate had reached 99.99 percent. That means that only .01 percent of the population is living under the poverty line. A progress report released on Tuesday January 7 announced that there were currently six households and 17 people in the province who had not “extricated themselves from poverty.” However, the news resulted in widespread suspicion. People expressed doubt and thought that it was another official propaganda fraud like the “Great Leap Forward” in the 1950’s.
Hu Jia, a longtime human rights activist in Beijing, pointed out directly that the government is lying, that the public knows that the government is lying, and that the government, knowing that the public knows that it is lying, still chooses to lie.
Hu Ping, Editor-in-Chief of the overseas political magazine Beijing Spring said, “Chinese-style poverty alleviation is a poverty alleviation as established in the books. The actual situation is a different matter. When the leader has a goal, the subordinates will come up with a figure.”
In 2015, as one of his political legacies, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that the entire rural population would be lifted out of poverty by 2020. Soon afterwards, local government offices across the country announced that they would strictly implement the standard of an annual per capita net income of 4,000 yuan (US$576) and do a good job of poverty alleviation in 2020.
Source: Radio Free Asia, January 8, 2020