Graphics shows the poverty levels in China's rural areas according to the current rural poverty standard, Oct. 17, 2016. (Xinhua/Zhou Daqing)
BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China has entered the crucial stage of poverty reduction as the fight against poverty remains tough despite remarkable achievements in the past, according to a white paper issued Monday.
China still has a large population living in profound poverty and the solutions to their problems are becoming increasingly costly and complex, said the white paper titled "China's Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights".
"This will prove a hard nut to crack," the white paper said, referring to the country's poverty reduction task in future.
By the end of 2015, China still had 55.75 million people living in poverty, equivalent to the entire population of a medium-sized country.
Most of them live in extreme poverty and have weak capacity for development, while the time pressure is huge for China to accomplish its target of lifting all the poor out of poverty by 2020, the white paper said.
Moreover, a large number of those who just escaped poverty can be pushed back into it as a result of natural disasters, illness, or issues involving education, marriage and housing, according to the white paper.
To eradicate poverty by 2020, China has pledged to lift 10 million people out of poverty every year from 2016 through developing specialty industries, transfer employment, relocation and social security coverage.
Over the past more than 30 years since the launch of the reform and opening up drive, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty.
According to the UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in China fell from 61 percent in 1990 to 4.2 percent in 2014, with the number of citizens China has raised from poverty accounting for 70 percent of the world's total.