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China is best placed to tackle rural poverty globally, and the West isn’t happy about it


Not only is China’s success in reducing poverty without precedent, Beijing is best equipped to help reduce poverty globally – a fact that the Western media seems happy to skip over, preferring instead to criticise Beijing’s actions wherever possible


So now, China’s government bodies have made a firm commitment to act again and have drawn up plans.


In China, many are still left behind: over 40 million people remain in poverty, mostly in rural areas. President Xi Jinping has already identified China’s rural poverty as one of the “three tough battles” for the Communist Party to win by 2021. So the government and party will ostensibly work in tandem.


The need elsewhere is even larger. According to the UN (recorded in its Sustainable Development Goals project), there are 783 million people living in poverty around the world.


Most are in rural parts of developing countries, many in Africa. China’s help in tackling the problem is recognised as being essential.


However, according to some critics Beijing is locked in a trade war with the US and stands accused of unfair trade practices and pilfering American intellectual property and technology.


In addition, China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” has come under fire as a tool of the Chinese government to take over global commerce. Some European leaders have even labelled the infrastructure scheme an existential threat.


The Western liberal media have widely reported this narrative. They do not, however, report much about China’s miraculous economic growth, especially its role in poverty reduction, given the tremendously laudable consequences. They certainly do not give China its due.


The Western media has not cottoned on to the fact that China had done a yeoman’s job in promoting economic growth by privatising its economy and promoting competition, and has applied these principles to its foreign aid.


After all, China is now leading the US in registering patents and is ahead in most areas of hi-tech that count: artificial intelligence, quantum computing and robotics, to name but a few.


Europeans must wake up to the fact that more than 65 nations have become part of China’s belt and road, and most applaud it. It is good for the world, especially poor countries.


Europe is suffering from anaemic GDP growth and faces a future where this is a continuing problem. Emulating or at least cooperating with China would be a better approach than complaining about it.


The global problem of rural poverty is likely to generate more headlines before too long. It has already been linked to global warming. One thing is clear: if China does not act to relieve rural poverty, it will not happen.