Farewell to poverty: Foreign diplomats share their observations in China
In 2020, the remote prefecture of Nujiang in southwest China’s Yunnan province, one of the poorest regions in the country, completely eradicated poverty. The region is just one of the many success stories of families able to break out of poverty.
With over 7% of the world’s population still living in extreme poverty, according to the United Nations, can the Chinese model help other countries tackle the problem of poverty?
Last month, ambassadors from Cape Verde (or Cape Verde), Bahamas and Jordan arrived in Nujiang to witness poverty reduction programs launched in the country to tackle the problem. During a panel discussion, Jordanian Ambassador to China Hussam Al Husseini told CGTN host Tian Wei that he believes China’s system of infrastructure development is the key to connecting remote areas like Nujiang with the rest of China.
The highways are attracting more and more tourists to the region, drawn by the spectacular scenery and biodiversity of the Nujiang River, reinvigorating the service industry which provides new employment opportunities for local villagers.
Behind the new roads and bridges hide the relentless efforts of the local population, sometimes at the cost of their lives. The fact that nearly 40 officials lost their lives in infrastructure projects in Nujiang particularly touched Jordan’s Ambassador to China, Hussam Al Husseini.
“They knew the vagaries of the situation. But they still continued to contribute to this project,” said Husseini. “It was a story of social and national responsibility.”
Getting rid of poverty also means bringing about drastic changes. The question of how to embrace change while preserving local cultural roots is particularly important in Yunnan, home to 25 of China’s 56 ethnic groups.
The Cape Verdean ambassador to China, Tania Romualdo, visited a school in the region. She was struck by the scene of a class of students learning English, while next door another class played instruments from a local ethnic group.
“For me, it shows that there has been rehousing people and giving them new opportunities for a better life. But there is always the concern to also maintain the roots, not to lose the tradition, not to lose the culture, ”Romualdo said.
The fight against poverty is not a one-off effort. How to make sure people don’t fall back on progress is a constant challenge. Bahamian Ambassador Robert Sterling Quant observed that the region’s natural resources provide a solid foundation for the region, which now has adequate infrastructure.
“For these young people, if they don’t have a job, they have the skills to start their own business. The next thing you know, they could be the next Alibaba,” said Quant.
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