China’s poor are hit twice in coronavirus outbreak
The economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak is taking its toll on China’s poorest people as experts and the country’s leaders warned it could undermine its poverty reduction drive. The disease has killed more than 2,000 people and seen many parts of the country go into lockdown, damaging both rural and urban economies and pushing some of those affected back into poverty. Five years ago President Xi Jinping of China promised to eradicate absolute poverty in the country and build what he called a “comprehensive well-off society” by 2020. At the end of last year, 5.5 million people in rural areas remained in poverty – down from 99 million in 2012, according to the National Bureau o
Chinese student who died of malnutrition never received bulk of donations
A Chinese charity has come under fire after it admitted that a large amount of money donated by the public did not reach a poverty-stricken college student suffering from complications due to malnutrition. She eventually died. The case of Wu Huayan, 24, who became ill because she had been subsisting on only rice and pickled-peppers for years, highlighted the challenges that China faces in its drive to eradicate poverty by 2020, which is a major policy goal for the Communist Party.  China has managed to successfully pull a large portion of its population out of poverty since it began market reforms in the late 1970s. However, the country now has one of the most unequal economies in the world,
China province, population 80 million, says only 17 people live in poverty
A Chinese province of 80 million people has claimed that only 17 residents, from six families, remain in poverty, sparking intense debate about the veracity of official anti-poverty statistics. The coastal province of Jiangsu is the first to declare a near elimination of absolute poverty – which is defined in China as per capita net income of 2,300 yuan ($331) in 2011 prices – as part of President Xi Jinping’s drive to wipe it out and build China into a comprehensive well-off society by 2020. China has yet to publish official statistics for all of 2019, but the government has said the number of people in poverty was cut to 16.6 million at the end of 2018 and an additional 10 million were lif
Why Xi Jinping wants everyone to know he ate on the train
Chinese President Xi Jinping is the kind of president who does not mind eating his dinner on the train and who shuns luxurious accommodation, according to the latest state media reports designed to portray him as a thrifty and frugal leader. The report by state news agency Xinhua published on Monday depicted him as a man who would spend his birthday working and personally intervened to ensure that meals in honor were not too extravagant. The report was also intended to reinforce the message to officials that staying down to earth was “no trivial matter” but was key to fulfilling the party’s “original mission” in what one analyst described as a Mao Zedong-style effort to show he was on the si
Charity for girls comes under fire for funding boys
A Chinese government-run charity aimed at helping poverty-stricken girls finish their schooling has prompted an online outcry after it was found to be funding boys’ education as well.  Despite a growing awareness of gender equality in urban China, girls, especially those in rural areas, still lag behind in their access to education due to long-held favoritism toward sons. To help provide education for poor girls, the state-run China Children and Teenagers’ Fund launched the Spring Bud Project in 1989.  The project’s promotional materials have almost entirely featured women, and China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan, is the charity’s special ambassador. But social media users found this week that a
To fight the war on poverty, China seeks help from online influencers
In 2015, the Chinese government began what a senior official called an “extremely difficult” mission: to eradicate poverty in five years, including by using unconventional means. As the 2020 deadline looms, grinding poverty still exists in China. One Chinese province is certainly using an unorthodox way to help fix the problem.  The southern province of Hunan, ranked the eighth poorest in the country, has tapped into the growing popularity of live streams – and the influencers behind them – to meet ambitious poverty alleviation goals.  Enter Ah Juan, 36, whose real name is He Yujuan. She has doe eyes, porcelain skin and 1.9 million followers on Douyin, the Chinese version of short video app
Father of China's ‘Ice Boy’ says the family is still struggling
The father of the “Ice Boy” – who became the face of China’s fight against poverty after he was pictured covered in icicles following a freezing trek to school – said the family was still struggling to make ends meet.  The boy, Wang Fuman, from the southwestern province of Yunnan, was eight when a photo of him taken by a teacher went viral on social media in January 2018.  It showed the little boy with his hair and eyebrows covered in ice and his cheeks ruddy from the cold after he had walked for more than an hour from his home in thin clothing along treacherous mountain paths. The plight of the impoverished primary school student touched hearts across China, with many people expressing symp
China’s forgotten fishermen
Like generations before him, Sun Lianxi made a living as a fisherman. He and 17 family members used to live on a large houseboat that they also operated as a restaurant for day-tripping tourists. But in 2017, local authorities seized the houseboat and banned fishing on certain days in the name of environmental protection. It was also part of a broad-ranging poverty alleviation scheme to move fishermen off boats and re-settle them on land. But Sun says the scheme has left him and his family struggling to earn a living. Watch the video above.
These sisters in rural China made a library from trash
The tiny, dimly-lit library had no bookshelves and hardly enough books to fill a cabinet. But for the children in the central Chinese province of Henan, it was a godsend. A pair of sisters built the mini-library in 2016 using books they salvaged from the trash they picked up in a township in Henan called Yangmiaoxiang, one of the poorest parts of China where families live on less than $1 a day. The story of hardship behind the library underscores the staggering inequality between China’s coastal cities and inland regions and the challenges Beijing faces as it seeks to eradicate poverty by 2020. “China’s education resources’ distribution is extremely uneven,” said a user of Weibo, China’s Tw
A village forgotten by China’s poverty drive
In 2015, China launched a wide-ranging campaign intended to wipe out poverty across China in just five years. The program was meant to lift the entire population above the poverty line, ensuring every family would have an annual income of more than 2,300 yuan ($340) by 2020. The national campaign has made some headway, with official statistics showing the number of rural poor has dropped from 82.39 million in 2012 to 16.6 million at the end of 2018, and another 10 million are on target to be lifted above the poverty line in 2019. But people of one village in China’s northern Hebei province are among those left waiting for poverty alleviation efforts to reach them. The South China Morning Pos