Poverty alleviation

Customers dine near a giant screen broadcasting news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, 16 September 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

[Party and the man] Xi Jinping faces biggest challenges in decades

While Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to secure a third term at the 20th Party Congress, Loro Horta recalls the saying that one should “be careful what you wish for”. The road ahead in his third term looks to be fraught with challenges, both domestically and externally. This is the first in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
A still from the movie Return to Dust, with Wu Renlin (left) and Hai Qing in the lead roles. (Internet)

Can China's movies depict poverty and the ugliness of society?

The movie Return to Dust depicts the difficult circumstances of a rural couple in China. Despite the high ratings and box office takings, some detractors say that the film feeds Western stereotypes of rural Chinese. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at whether the movie panders to Western tastes, and whether it invalidates China’s efforts at poverty alleviation.
A sprinkler irrigates a corn field to mitigate the impact of drought brought by high temperatures, in Xiliangshi village of Boai county in Jiaozuo, Henan province, China, 20 June 2022. (China Daily via Reuters)

Pandemic could stymie China’s poverty alleviation and rural revitalisation efforts

The Covid-19 pandemic has badly hit the Chinese economy, with ordinary folk bearing the brunt of the impact. Migrant workers and rural farmers have had to pivot to other fields to make ends meet, and even then the outlook is still grim. Can the authorities safeguard its efforts in poverty alleviation and rural revitalisation? Zaobao journalists Miao Zong-Han and Zeng Shi look into the issue.
A Chinese flag flutters near people lining up to get tested at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site, amid Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing, China, 18 May 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Why Xi Jinping's bold experiments with socialism are commendable

While China’s market-based socialism with Chinese characteristics has lifted many out of poverty, creating the Chinese miracle, the ills of abiding by the “laws of the market” should be tackled and reined in. In the ever-evolving model of new socialism, a mechanism needs to be established that can raise and maintain a good standard of living in the absence of economic growth. This is so that people can transcend the pursuit of the material and live their lives with meaning and purpose.
Demonstrators during a national walk out in support of abortion rights at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, US, on 5 May 2022. (Sergio Flores/Bloomberg)

Do Gen Z Americans hold the key to improving China-US relations?

American youths today are dealing with more issues and turmoil than their previous generations. US academic Wu Guo believes that the culmination of terrorist attacks, financial crises, social injustice and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have led to a generation that is more politically, socially and environmentally aware. These challenges and experiences could be a path for Americans to connect with the world outside of the US, in particular with China.
Workers use planters to plant corn seeds on the fields in a village on the outskirts of Wuwei, Gansu province, China, 14 April 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

It is debatable whether China has truly alleviated poverty

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in February 2021 China’s complete victory in its fight against poverty. While China’s poverty alleviation efforts spanned 40 years since its reform and opening up in 1978, its definition of its poverty standards has been ill-defined. Taiwan academic Liu Chin-tsai believes that there is more to be scrutinised before China becomes a global model for poverty alleviation.
A worker in personal protective equipment facilitates a round of Covid-19 testing during a lockdown in Shanghai, China, on 7 April 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

A Singaporean in China: Contact tracing lays bare the lives of ordinary Chinese

Through contact tracing records of Covid-19 positive patients, people are getting a glimpse of how their fellow Chinese live their lives. While the detailed records bring up the question of privacy, they have helped to highlight the issue of inequality in big cities and the lives of those who are toiling away and struggling to make ends meet. Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan shares the stories that have gripped the attention of Chinese netizens.
Men in China's rural areas find themselves in a tough situation when it comes to marriage. (Noel Celis/AFP)

When millions of rural Chinese men are desperate for a wife

In China’s rural areas, despite traditional pressures to get married, young men are finding themselves in a difficult position as the high gender imbalance has led to a short supply of marriageable women. Furthermore, men who are not well-off cannot find wives, with many of the women looking to marry men with better prospects in other towns and cities as a means of upward social mobility. These social problems have led to the abduction and trafficking of women in rural China. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong visits some villages to find out more about these crimes.
A farmer tends to his rice field in the village of Yangchao in Liping County, Guizhou province, China, 11 June 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Governing modern Chinese villages is a big challenge

Chinese academic Hu Ying notes that rural governance in China is facing new and diverse sets of challenges. While traditional rural governance looks after people's need for money, food and to protect their livelihoods, current rural issues could include the provision of public services, targeted poverty alleviation, land management and ecological protection. Not only that, traditional value systems are now a thing of the past as villagers gain an increased awareness of individual rights. The authorities would need different skills, and to be supported by new social structures in order to do their job well.