China halves poor population
BEIJING -- China halved its impoverished population over
the past three decades, according to Huang Yanxin, deputy
director of the regulation department under the Ministry of
The accomplishment makes China the first nation to fulfill
its objective under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)
Huang made the comments at a press briefing on Premier Wen
Jiabao's attendance at the UN MDG summit in New York on
According to Huang, China had fulfilled the goal of halving
poor population, compared with the time when MDG project
Set in 2000, the MDG include eradicating extreme poverty,
achieving universal primary education, promoting gender
equality and improving maternal health, all by 2015.
The percentage of people living in absolute poverty in
rural areas plunged from 30.7 percent in 1978 to 1.6
percent in 2007, Huang said.
"According to China's standards, the number of poor people
dropped from 250 million in 1978 to 14.8 million in 2007,"
China's achievements in relieving poverty had been felt by
all, Huang stated. China's poverty reduction promoted
development in rural areas, fostered harmony in communities
and sped up the process of international poverty relief
Huang noted that 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of China's
reform and opening up. One of the first steps the country
took was to improve rural living standards.
Huang said China had solved the problem of feeding 1.3
billion people during the past 30 years. Compared with
1978, grain output had increased from about 300 billion kg
to 500 billion kg in 2007. Amid world shortages of food and
soaring prices, China's food supply and prices remained
"It's the important contribution Chinese agriculture made
to domestic development and global agriculture," Huang