China’s Xi Jinping has been pursuing this particular dream for years now. The communist nation has decided that they would like to eliminate extreme poverty and now they have accomplished that goal….one month ahead of schedule. “China on Monday claimed extreme poverty has been eliminated nationwide, the capstone of a Communist Party policy to reduce inequities in society,” the Wall Street Journal crowed.
That wasn’t all, either. “Poverty elimination by the end of this year is a key facet of a Communist Party goal to build what is termed a moderately prosperous society ahead of the party’s 100th birthday in 2021. President Xi Jinping has traveled the nation in recent years pledging attention to those at the lowest rungs of society, and has directed massive spending on schools, clinics, housing, and cash handouts to meet the antipoverty target set in 2011…” they continued.
“Despite setbacks associated with the coronavirus pandemic, which in China like elsewhere disproportionately hit lower-income groups, Mr. Xi has repeated a determination that the poverty elimination goal would be achieved, making it a foregone conclusion that authorities would declare success before year-end. The People’s Daily earlier this year said poverty had plagued China for thousands of years so eliminating it can be considered “a Chinese miracle in human history,” WSJ concludes.
Setting aside their willingness to carry water for the Chinese government, we have some serious doubts about the effectiveness of these efforts. When the New York Times reported on this initiative, they believed that it was the product of local Chinese officials’ reticence to disappoint their leader. “Local officials, who face the threat of punishment if they do not meet Mr. Xi’s targets, maintain detailed lists of the income levels of poor residents and hand out subsidies, housing and loans to push them above the poverty line…
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China has for decades treated rural people as second-class citizens, limiting their access to high-quality health care, education, and other benefits under the strict Mao-era household registration system by keeping them from moving to the cities. More than 40 percent of the population — about 600 million people — lived on less than $5 a day last year, according to government statistics,” the Times reported.
If this is how the population is living, it is hard to believe that these Chinese claims are true. Local officials may decide to perpetuate these narratives but they are far from the truth. The reality is that China is not shielded from the same issues that have affected much of the world. They experienced coronavirus lockdowns like most of us and there was also catastrophic flooding in a number of regions.
One resident who lost their home to the floods was willing to speak out about the awful year that he had experienced. “Mr. Xu estimates that he lost at least $3,000 worth of crops in the floods, and more because of the economic slowdown during the pandemic. With fruit and vegetables still scarce in his village, he says he will have to spend at least $1,500 more on food this year than he had expected. He plans to sell his sheep this winter and grow other crops to make a living,” says the Times.
“Even if you aren’t out of poverty, the country will say you’re out of poverty,” Mr. Xu said. “That’s the way it is.” It sounds sad enough but these are the problems that exist in communist nations. Before leftists decide that this country is the one that we need to aspire to, they should take the time to do their homework on the matter.
If any poverty has been eliminated, it is the result of the global marketplace, not any decisions that have been made by the Chinese government. The government simply neglects all of the rural areas that are in extreme poverty and that is how they convince people that everything is alright. It’s quite the trick that they have pulled and these claims need to be exposed for the lies that they are.