BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping on Friday stressed overcoming the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to clinch a complete victory in the fight against poverty.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a symposium on securing a decisive victory in poverty alleviation.
Xi stressed that lifting all rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty by 2020 is a solemn promise made by the CPC Central Committee, and it must be fulfilled on time.
He called for unremitting efforts on poverty alleviation, saying it is a tough battle that greater importance must be attached to in the final push.
Xi urged Party committees and governments at all levels to advance the fight against poverty in greater determination and intensity, overcome the impact of the COVID-19 to clinch a complete victory in eradicating poverty and accomplish the great cause that is of tremendous importance both for the Chinese nation and humanity.
Noting that this symposium has been the largest of its kind since the 18th CPC National Congress, Xi said its main task is to mobilize all resources to win the battle against poverty, and ensure that the target of eradicating poverty is met as planned so as to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The country's poverty alleviation tasks are near completion, as the number of impoverished people fell to 5.51 million at the end of 2019 from 98.99 million at the end of 2012. The poverty headcount ratio dropped to 0.6 percent from 10.2 percent during the period, with regional overall poverty being basically eradicated, Xi said.
Upon completion of the poverty eradication task this year, China will achieve the goals set in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, which is of great significance to both China and the world, as no country in the world has ever lifted so many people out of poverty in such a short period of time, he said.
The unprecedented achievements that China has made in poverty alleviation demonstrate the political advantages of the CPC leadership and the socialist system, he noted.
For the next step, Xi highlighted focusing on regions in deep poverty and paying attention to the protruding issues and weak links in vigorous policy implementation.
Local governments are urged to speed up efforts in lifting the 52 poor counties and 1,113 villages out of poverty and enhance social security guarantees to impoverished people having no ability to work.
Differentiated and precise epidemic prevention and control strategies shall be implemented to overcome the impact of the outbreak, Xi said.
Regions hit hard by the epidemic should intensify epidemic control when innovating new work methods, in an effort to coordinate the epidemic control with poverty alleviation, while areas with zero or fewer cases of infections should concentrate their strengths on expediting the poverty relief, according to Xi.
Xi said that China will give priority to supporting the poverty-stricken workforce in employment, and implement a pairing-up support mechanism between the west and east regions to help impoverished workers get back to work in an orderly manner.
Stressing multiple measures to consolidate achievements, Xi called for further efforts to reduce poverty via boosting employment and industrial development, providing medium- and long-term support for planting and breeding industries as well as microcredits for the poor.
Xi said the country should keep poverty alleviation policies stable, put into place a mechanism to effectively prevent people from falling back to poverty and provide targeted assistance to the needy in advance.
"Being lifted out of poverty is not an end in itself but the starting point of a new life and a new pursuit," Xi said, stressing the need to synchronize poverty alleviation with rural vitalization.
On the whole, poverty reduction should be advanced in a way that can elevate the development capacity of the low-income population in underdeveloped and rural areas, offer well-targeted support to those in need and facilitate the gradual realization of common prosperity, he said.
Xi stressed the ever-growing need to strengthen and improve the Party's leadership as the fight against poverty continues, urging Party committees at all levels to fulfill their duties and missions.
Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, presided over the meeting.
Wang said President Xi's speech analyzed the situation facing poverty alleviation, underscored the Party's leadership in the cause and urged delivery on the goals.
Governments at all levels should complete the list of tasks for the year and overcome the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, with attention to fulfilling goals, solving problems and delivering results while practically and innovatively working to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020, said Wang.