Which key players stand behind China's anti-poverty drive? New China Research, the think tank of Xinhua News Agency, released a research paper on Sunday to shed light on the rationale for China's anti-poverty drive, explaining the performance of the following five key "players":
CAPABLE GOVERNMENT: RESTLESS HAND OR ENABLING HAND?
How has China achieved an effective interaction between the state and its citizens to eradicate absolute poverty? The key to China's success lies in the effective interaction and coordination between a top-down government leadership and bottom-up grassroots innovation.
Four areas of improvement are needed to boost the state's anti-poverty efforts, namely in leadership, innovation, mobilization, and implementation.
In addition, multi-faceted supervision, anti-graft efforts, improvement in official governing style as well as public participation have all contributed to China realizing the goal of building an all-round well-off society while leaving no one behind.
PRO-POOR MARKET: DISTORTION OR REINVENTION?
The building of a pro-poor market is a major innovation in China's poverty alleviation practice.
China has played the leading role of the dominant public ownership economy over the non-public ownership economy and mobilized various economic entities. While promoting the flow of resources to areas of high technological content and high input-output efficiency, China has continued to advance without stifling the development of poor areas and the employment and entrepreneurship of the poor.
In this process, China has made up for the shortcomings in infrastructure and public services in impoverished areas, and optimized the allocation of labor and means of production to unleash potential productivity. It has guided, organized and supported leading enterprises and entrepreneurs to establish various forms of linkages with poverty-stricken households in order to build an inclusive market for the benefit of the poor.
CARING SOCIETY: A SILENT MAJORITY?
The involvement of the wider public is essential for successful poverty alleviation. Various players are indispensable in the supply of public goods for poverty alleviation.
China's poverty alleviation is based on a public consensus to eliminate unbalanced and inadequate development and improve the degree of social balance. Guided by the value of "giving everyone the opportunity to develop and contribute to society," it aims to rouse the silent majority to participate in poverty alleviation.
From the initiatives Project Hope and the Project for Poor Mothers in the early years to the "10,000 Enterprises Helping 10,000 Villages" program, which was launched in October 2015, as well as countless non- governmental poverty alleviation and charity actions, all reflect the mighty power of a caring society.
DEVOTED "FERRYMAN": REDUNDANT OR NECESSARY?
How can a country effectively grasp the real needs of the poor? How can a country effectively motivate every impoverished individual to do the right thing? What kind of means can be used to accurately channel resources to end deprivation? In the midst of social transformation, many poverty-stricken villages across China have suffered from a "brain drain," complicating efforts to carry out poverty alleviation work. This is why village-based poverty alleviators are particularly critical in the fight against penury.
Unlike many countries that rely heavily on non-governmental organizations and international assistance to help the poor, China relies on its administrative personnel at various levels to fight poverty.
Since 2012, a total of 255,000 teams have been dispatched to offer on-the-ground support and over 3 million people have been sent to the countryside as special commissioners for poverty relief, working together at the front line with nearly 2 million township-level cadres and millions of village-level cadres.
These personnel serve as a link between "national governance" and "rural self-governance." These "ferrymen" utilize policies and resources to build "boats" to "ferry" impoverished communities and individuals to common prosperity.
SELF-SUPPORTING "FISHERMEN": GIVING FISH OR TEACHING FISHING?
To achieve effective and sustainable poverty alleviation, the key is to "invest in people." The poor are not merely recipients of poverty alleviation, but also serve as agents of poverty elimination and prosperity. Looking back at China's fight against absolute poverty, the key is to recognize the "duality" of the subject and the object of the poor, and utilize external forces to stimulate inner motivation.
To help the poor enter the market, the Chinese government has adopted a comprehensive approach involving education and training, employment opportunities, incentives, and organizational innovation to precisely drip-feed the poor to fully tap their development potential, and help them become self-reliable "fishermen."
These fishermen can be independent entrepreneurs, migrant workers, shareholders of farmers' cooperatives, community public service providers, or "guardians" of the ecological environment.