SHANGHAI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Over 60 village leaders, experts and government officials mostly from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China and South Korea met Monday here for the opening of an exchange program on poverty reduction.
The week-long event, the fourth organized by the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC), features in-depth discussions and field trips to rural areas and communities in China.
The program, held annually since 2013, allows participants to have a better understanding of the socioeconomic development in rural China. In particular, the field study under the program will help attendees learn useful experiences of Chinese village leaders in their practical work, and enhance the capacity building among village leaders of ASEAN plus China, South Korea and Japan (ASEAN+3).
Noting that China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty since the adoption of the policy of reform and opening up in 1978, Tan Weiping, deputy head of the IPRCC, said that China still faces many challenges in this regard and needs to learn from other countries.
"China needs to learn the best experience of other countries. With their respective unique experience in poverty reduction policies and practices, ASEAN countries could benefit from this exchange program," he added.
Tang Thi Phuong Mai, who is in charge of community affairs in the ASEAN Secretariat, lauded the program as one of the concrete actions that moves forward the vision of the East Asian leaders, saying it also reinforces the long-standing partnership among ASEAN+3 countries.
"This program is particularly timely and relevant in this regional context as it is aimed at building the capacity of ASEAN+3 village leaders, through knowledge-sharing on economic development, infrastructure development and human capital development," she said.