Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Yao Jing on Thursday said over the past 30 years, consistency in policies, flexibility in developmental frameworks for different regions and putting poverty alleviation central to overall comprehensive development agenda were the key three reasons to help eradicate poverty in China.
He was addressing a special seminar titled “Celebrating 70 years of China’s achievements in poverty eradication” organized by the China Study Center (CSC) of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Yao Jing said that in China, poverty eradication was not just an isolated effort of the government, but part of overall comprehensive development strategy. “Comprehensive development strategy of China is not confined to growth rate only, but it meant to include education, health, environmental protection, social security and high quality development” he said adding comprehensive development strategy was the key to tackle all major challenges of China.
While commenting on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Yao Jing said that the CPEC has now transformed and entered into a new second phase where both countries are now focusing on industrial cooperation, agricultural cooperation, and socio-economic development. “Under social cooperation, we are focusing on six areas including health, education, water, agriculture, poverty eradication and human resource development”, he said adding around 27 different projects in these six areas of cooperation will be implemented.
Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, while highlighting the theme of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty said that there is a need of shift in our thinking and approach to fight poverty. “We all need to work together in order to empower our children, their families and communities to help reduce poverty”, he said adding our children are our future, therefore, every single child should have access to quality education, health and a peaceful and secure environment, where he/she could grow without fear of any coercion. He underlined that our social protection policies should also incorporate the needs of our children, especially the girl children, to help eradicate poverty in a society.
Parliamentary Secretary, Planning, Development and Reform, Kanwal Shauzab said China not only miraculously lift its large population out of poverty, but also has become a hub of technologies and innovation in the world through educating their people with advanced technical skills and education. “There is a dire need to educate and equip our young generation with modern technical skills as per the demand of changing development paradigm”, she said. Pakistan also needs a paradigm shift in the education system to help fight poverty, she stressed. While commenting on Prime Minister’s initiative of opening ‘Model Langar Khana’, she said this initiative was meant to draw attention towards the pressing issue of hunger and poverty in society. On creation of jobs said that the government is trying to facilitate the private sector by providing an enabling environment for business to grow and resultant employment generation. She said that entrepreneurship culture in the country should be encouraged and facilitated.
Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO, The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), said that under the CPEC both countries must ensure that the local people along the route of the CPEC should get the benefit, as mostly the local communities are marginalised and living under poverty.
Dr Hina Aslam, Head of China Study Center, SDPI said China’s industrialization and modernization process started in the 1950s and since then it has made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction. “In the past 70 years, China has lifted over 800 million people out of poverty, contributing more than 70 per cent to global poverty reduction endeavour”, she said China has given us a great learning opportunity to lift our people out of poverty.
Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Executive Director, Zalmi Foundation (ZF) said China’s inclusive decision making through engaging local communities and making them part of development strategies help China eradicate poverty. He said while learning from China, Pakistan needs to develop its own long term development strategy as per ground realities to fight poverty and achieve sustainable growth and development. To tackle the regional development and security challenges, China, Pakistan and India should form a group where China should take lead, he proposed.
Zamir Awan, Sinologist, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and Engr. Mushtaq Ahmad Gill (TI), Chief Executive, South Asian Conservation Network (SACAN) Services also presents their thoughts on the occasion.