Poverty alleviation has always been a major concern for President Xi Jinping, who has profound personal experience in the development of the great progress.
Xi left Beijing for Liangjiahe Village in northern Shaanxi Province to work as a farmer before he was 16, and spent seven years there.
At that time, he was struck by the poverty and the difficult situation for farmers, who struggled for a wealthier life. Since then, he has been committed to alleviating poverty in rural China.
When working in Zhengding County of North China’s Hebei Province, Xi rode a bicycle to investigate the communes and production teams of the whole county, explored good strategies for economic development, and supported the diligent people who got wealth with their own hands.
While staying in Fujian Province, Xi published a collection of articles with the title Up and Out of Poverty. The idea of "the weak birds must start earlier than others" and the spirit of "constant drops wear away a stone" that he put forward at that time are still inspiring people today on poverty alleviation.
When working in Zhejiang Province, Xi stated the prominence of solving people’s practical difficulties, especially helping urban and rural people in need, in accordance with the requirements of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
"Rome was not built in a day." Xi has repeatedly emphasized the spirit of perseverance, requiring a combination of a pragmatic and down-to-earth approach to tackling challenges. For decades, he has always been faithful to his words on poverty alleviation work.
After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), poverty alleviation has always been the central task every time Xi leaves Beijing to inspect poverty-stricken areas.
Xi often walks into the homes of villagers to learn about the living conditions and actual needs of the people, feeling worried when seeing people living a difficult life, or feeling happy when residents' lives improved. He would always stay with the people, hold hands with them talking about family affairs, and work with them to find a good way to get rid of poverty and get rich.
From Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia to Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, from the old revolutionary bases to the poverty-stricken areas of ethnic minorities, Xi has traveled to 14 concentrated and contiguous poverty-stricken areas across the country. Along the way, he condensed the idea of "targeted poverty alleviation".
At the 19th National Congress of the CPC, Xi once again raised poverty alleviation to a new strategic height. On behalf of the CPC, he pledged to the people to let the poor and impoverished areas move forward toward a prosperous society in all aspects with the rest of the country and "ensure that all rural residents living below the current poverty line have been lifted out of poverty by 2020." He solemnly declared to the world that we would "resolutely win the battle against poverty."
And among numerous speeches delivered by Xi on poverty alleviation, there is a firm confidence in the vision: “We will win the final phase of the war on poverty. This will be the first time in thousands of years of Chinese history that extreme poverty has been eliminated.”
(Translated by Jiang Zhuhan, edited by Bao Han; Source: Xi Jinping's Stories of Poverty Relief, a book compiled by the People's Daily Overseas Edition and published by the Commercial Press in China in September 2020)