CURRENTLY, China has entered a critical stage of the fight against poverty. However, in the pursuit of targeted poverty alleviation, China also faces problems. For example, some poor people lack the ability to get out of poverty, and therefore tend to wait for help. It is urgent and important to eliminate the moral distress of these people, to strengthen their ability to improve their lives, and to establish a reliable system of poverty reduction.
The weak endogenous impetus in the impoverished has some characteristics:
The lack of capacity: Most impoverished people follow the model of agricultural production handed down from generation to generation. They do not dare to try a new mode of production. Since they have not received good education, they have neither the knowledge nor the ability to do so. They lack discernment with regard to new things. They do not know how to develop abilities and manage risks.
A sprawling vineyard in Minning Town, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The lack of courage: Some people often think that they cannot adapt to the new environment when the government offers to move them to a new place. Others think that they will not be able to master new skills. There are also those who think that they will lose money if they invest in new industries and those who do not want to endure humdrum routine work schedules when they are offered those. They worry about everything, preferring to live in poverty instead of creating a new life.
The dependent mentality: Some poor people are too dependent on the government. They wait for government help and get used to this free help, because it is easy to obtain and therefore reassuring.
The tendency to idle: Trudging through life and having no ardor to work, they are satisfied with their current state; instead of embarking on a new economic activity to get rich, they get used to their state of poverty.
The refusal to overcome poverty: Some people in difficulty want to be “poor” and are even proud of it. The “low income family” label is an honor and a special treat for them.
Rivalry in poverty: Among poor families, there is a race to get more assistance and material benefits.
Pupils walk through a newly uplifted residential community in Minning Town.
In the face of these phenomena in the fight against poverty, President Xi Jinping reiterated several times that it is necessary to stimulate enthusiasm and endogenous impetus among the poor to eradicate poverty. The fight against poverty encompasses changing attitudes and raising the level of education.
The discourse made by Xi Jinping on stimulating poor people’s willingness to shake off poverty includes very rich content. First, it highlights that the stimulation of endogenous impetus is the fundamental objective to fight against poverty, emphasizing the need to spur their initiative and creativity. It is important to advocate a hardworking and self-reliant spirit. It should be taken as the major content and fundamental goal of targeted poverty alleviation to inspire, enhance, and cultivate endogenous motivation, so as to realize the endogenous development of poor people in poverty-stricken areas. Secondly, in the fight against poverty, needy inhabitants must be valued for their essential role and their status as the main catalyst of change. Their awareness of being the main actor should be strengthened and their sense of gain in the fight against poverty should be increased. Thirdly, various measures must be adopted to reinforce endogenous impetus of poor people, targeting the factors leading to their poverty. These people must be taught knowledge while industries are developed to help them earn more income. Fourth, ways and means of combining external assistance with endogenous forces, that is, the need to use external assistance in tandem with stimulating self-reliance, are clarified. Fifth, there is a need to improve the capacity and skills of officials in poor areas to guide poor people out of poverty.
Currently, guided by Xi Jinping’s instruction on stimulating poor people’s endogenous impetus, local governments set goals and have tried their best to find innovative solutions. Some effective ways and methods have been explored to eliminate spiritual poverty among poor people. This will be a good experience and a good reference to further stimulate endogenous impetus in poor people to get out of poverty.
China will establish stable and long-term poverty eradication mechanisms and is determined to win the battle to eradicate poverty. It will intensify its efforts to broadcast the policies and decisions made by the central government and the Party, as well as the exemplary models, which have proved to be successful in the fight against poverty. More efforts should be made to train impoverished people and improve their skills in a targeted way. China will also work to increase the capacity of officials at the primary level to help people escape poverty. Meanwhile, needy individuals should also be guided to actively participate in the construction of rural areas and to oversee the implementation of poverty reduction projects. Finally, the country will strengthen the construction of primary-level Party organizations and stimulate the endogenous impetus of the aforementioned.
HUANG CHENGWEI is director of the national publicity and education center for poverty alleviation under the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.