Eradication of Poverty in Rural China — the propaganda plan, COVID19
In December 2019, President Xi Jinping of China declared a drive to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of the new year. However, the Novel Coronavirus poses a major disruption and challenge ahead of these plans.
The central government’s poverty alleviation office and finance ministry has issued a notice to local governments on supervising financial and policy support to rural regions. In order to prevent people from returning to poverty due to the Coronavirus outbreak, this notice has become top priority. Rural China, after all, accounts for more than 40 percent of the country’s total population.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China was able to downsize extreme poverty from 99 million in 2012 to 5.5 million in 2019.
Extreme measures of containing the outbreak, such as lockdowns and closing roads connecting villages to citie, have halted agricultural trade and supplies. Migrant labourers are also unable to return to work with factories and other production in current standstill.
This causes a disruption in the President’s plan to achieve the zero extreme poverty goal by the end of this year. Especially if many agricultural workers are unable to effectively plant crops and curate livestock during the summer season due to COVID-19.
“Embattled grassroots officials are too preoccupied with containing the outbreak,”stated Yu Shaoxiang, a social security and poverty relief expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
With a high demand for Grain, Oil, and Foodstuff, which has the highest retail sales growth percentage of 9.7% compared to all other consumer goods. The first two months of 2020 has seen a major downfall for all other retail industries. Leaving a higher demand or Food and Traditional Chinese and Western medicines, which holds at 0.2% as of late March. In total retail sales of social consumer goods have gone down 20.5% om terms of annual basis this year.
With a large portion of these laborer’s unable to work, the added value of industries above designated size decreased by 13.5% in just the last two months.
This affects supplies, and the growing scarcity and shortages emerging in urban areas alone. This can divide penetrative capabilities between the haves and the have-nots. The poor affected by the virus are much less likely to receive penetrative measures on hand washing, face masks, health news through good internet.
Finding these villages and helping the migrant workers and their families in the face of quarantine is a hard challenge for the government, but an essential one in staying to date with President Xi’s drive to eradicate extreme poverty in rural China.