Eliminating Poverty — Chinese Style

Here’s a classic example of how China eliminates poverty. It’s radical but effective. To help 1.88 million poor people stuck in extreme poverty (making less than $1.90 a day) in Guizhou province, here’s what the Chinese officials did:

Build a huge city

• Move the 1.88 million poor people into the city and give them free/subsidized housing

• Provide them with opportunities to have relatively high-wage jobs

Robert Lawrence Kuhn, an American, traveled around China and created a documentary for PBS on China’s poverty alleviation programs. However, the Trump administration stopped the airing of the program, since anything positive about China has become an anathema in the US. But the full video is now available on CGTN. Here’s a 2-min clip from the video that shows how people in a remote mountain get relocated to a newly constructed urban area 70 km away.

Chinese government has about a million people working on poverty elimination! And, apart from relocation, the government finds unique and customized solutions for each village or person. For example, one village may be determined to be perfect for tourism industry; in a desert town in Xinjiang, raising camels and selling camel milk might create lots of jobs; in another village, growing unique mushrooms could bring in a lot of revenue, and so on. In each case, the government would adopt extraordinary measures to make bring these ideas into fruition. Thus, the “tourist village” will get new roads, help with turning homes into bed-and-breakfast, marketing campaigns etc. The “camel village” will get new camels, a logistical center where the milk can be sold etc. Such government-led initiatives are unthinkable in the U.S., where people are taught to rely only on free market and big corporations.

Here’s a quick video of how a Chinese local government gave a man 30 sheep – free of charge – and lifted him out of poverty. Watch this 30-second clip

These are examples of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” For Americans, such policies may seem authoritarian or strange, but such creative ways are how China lifted 800 million people out of poverty in the last 40 years.

BTW, in 2020, the (extreme) poverty rate in China became ZERO. Yes, 100 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty since Xi Jinping came to power.


And by lifting people out of poverty, China’s GDP went from $200 billion in 1978 to $13.5 trillion in 2018 (65-fold increase in 40 years). That’s a win-win for the people and the government.

This is also why 93% of Chinese are satisfied with their “authoritarian” and “communist” government — Harvard Study (2003-2016) .