by Yosley Carrero
HAVANA, July 3 (Xinhua) -- China has done more than any other country in the world for poverty alleviation and it has the capacity to eliminate extreme poverty by the year end, despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Cuban expert said.
"China has the capacity to lift more than 700 million people out of extreme poverty, which outnumbers the population of some entire nations, regions, and even continents," said Jose Luis Robaina, a senior researcher at Havana's Center for the Study of International Politics.
"No country in human history has done more for poverty alleviation than China," the expert said in a recent interview with Xinhua, which came ahead of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cuba due in September this year.
"The Chinese government and people, under the guidance of the Communist Party of China, have been working tirelessly to eradicate extreme poverty by 2020, which will be possible thanks to the Chinese government's political will and determination," he said.
China will achieve the poverty alleviation goal set in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development about 10 years ahead of schedule, which demonstrates "the profound commitment of China despite challenges in the world," he said.
"Currently, a sharp economic recession is affecting the global economy and millions of people are living under very precarious conditions because of poverty. Against this backdrop, China has set as a fundamental priority to improve the living conditions of its people," he told Xinhua.
Robaina, 73, studied Chinese history at Peking University between 1963 and 1966, worked as a correspondent in Beijing for Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency between 1980 and 1989, and served as a diplomat in the Cuban embassy in China between 2001 and 2004.
"Impressive social and technological development" scored by China over the past decades is the result of reforms and opening-up from 1978 on, which "have paved the way for a new era where extreme poverty is being left behind," he said.
The decline of the number of Chinese impoverished residents "demonstrates strengths of the Chinese socialist system and the leadership of the Communist Party of China amid a structural crisis of capitalism in the United States and many European countries," he said.
As far as rural development is concerned, Robaina said social programs developed by the Chinese government to alleviate extreme poverty have benefited millions of people living in the country's rural areas and towns, particularly in China's westernmost region.
Chinese rural communities have been transformed "thanks to the effective management of the government, which has allocated funding and resources to improve industrial infrastructure, clean water access and living conditions of people in the countryside," he said.
Robaina said the Chinese government has not only contributed to the alleviation of poverty nationwide, but also given a helping hand abroad through different international cooperation programs in support of developing countries.
"During the pandemic, China has helped many countries with medical supplies donations, scientific exchange and collaboration, which could be also translated into poverty reduction by taking into account the serious impact of the pandemic on the world economies," he told Xinhua.
The Cuban expert said social achievements shown by the Chinese people in poverty reduction are the result of China's political will in conjunction with a successful development program, which "gives paramount importance to the role of local governments at the grassroots level."
Robaina highlighted that China has reduced the number of impoverished people in keeping with principles promoted by socialism with Chinese characteristics, saying that other countries can learn from Chinese people in poverty eradication. Enditem