China Focus: In historical feat, Tibet eliminates absolute poverty
LHASA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has accomplished the historical feat of eradicating absolute poverty, according to a press briefing held in the regional capital of Lhasa Thursday.
By the end of 2019, Tibet had lifted 628,000 people out of poverty and delisted 74 county-level areas from the poverty list, said Wu Yingjie, Communist Party of China chief of Tibet, calling the achievement a "major victory."
The average annual net income of poor people in Tibet had risen from 1,499 yuan (about 220.44 U.S. dollars) in 2015 to 9,328 yuan in 2019, Wu said.
Since the beginning of this year, Tibet has shifted its focus from tackling absolute poverty to consolidating poverty alleviation achievements, he said.
Tibet's significant victory in poverty alleviation attests to the advantages of the socialist system on the plateau, Wu said.
Known as the "Roof of the World," Tibet is well-known for its picturesque plateau landscape and rich ethnic culture. It is one of the main battlegrounds in China's nationwide campaign against poverty.
"The elimination of absolute poverty in Tibet is a major achievement of China's poverty alleviation campaign in the new era," says a document released at the briefing, noting that the feat has greatly enhanced the modernization drive in Tibet.
Since 2016, Tibet has spent 74.8 billion yuan of agriculture-related funds in poverty alleviation, with an average annual increase of over 15 percent, Wu said.
He cited poverty alleviation projects and relocation programs, among other measures, as useful experiences in eliminating absolute poverty in Tibet.
Since 2016, a total of 39.89 billion yuan has been invested in more than 2,900 poverty alleviation projects, which helped lift more than 238,000 impoverished people out of poverty and benefited more than 840,000 people, according to Wu.
Authorities in Tibet have made great efforts to relocate impoverished people living in severe natural conditions to areas with relatively rich production materials and better infrastructure.
To date, the construction of 965 relocation sites has been completed, and 266,000 people have moved into new houses. "The relocation programs were entirely voluntary," Wu said.
A third-party assessment on the anti-poverty efforts in Tibet showed that the satisfaction rate among local people in the region was over 99 percent.
"The historical achievement of eliminating absolute poverty in Tibet not only marks a milestone in China's campaign against poverty but also serves as an exemplary case and a huge booster for the global poverty reduction cause," said Thubten Kehdrup, a professor with Tibet University.
Qizhala, chairman of the regional government of Tibet, told the press briefing that there are no forced vocational education and ensuing employment transfers for local farmers and herders.
With Tibet eliminating absolute poverty and a spate of preferential policies implemented to benefit the people, residents have strong desires to work outside their hometowns and to learn skills. The government answers their desires and demands, Qizhala said.
Vocational education and skills training are popular among local farmers and herders, with them earning a larger proportion of their incomes with skills, said the chairman.
Local farmers and herders can choose to work within Tibet or in neighboring or other regions, making employment choices of their own free will, Qizhala said. Enditem