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Rural development is key to lifting China's poor out of poverty, says scholar

18 Apr 2017

In an interview with CNBC's "Capital Connection", SMU Associate Professor of Political Science John Donaldson said solving the problem of Chinese poverty is likely to be high on the agenda for the current administration in Beijing. He was sharing his views on the key challenges that lie ahead for the Chinese government’s goal of fighting poverty. While industrialization has played a significant role in lifting many Chinese citizens out of poverty, Associate Prof Donaldson said the importance of rural development should not be overlooked. Citing former Chinese president Hu Jintao's introduction of healthcare and education to rural areas, he said such initiatives give citizens the option of remaining in rural areas — rather than shifting to megalopolises in search of a better life.

Associate Prof Donaldson also commented on Beijing's recent announcement of the establishment of a new special economic zone in Hebei province's Xiongan, which he said was likely part of a strategy to draw investment further inland and to spread wealth beyond the coastal regions of China. Many challenges stand in the way of the project's success, Associate Prof Donaldson said, but he added that Beijing's targeting of a region deemed "China's Rustbelt" could be a sign that the government is serious about poverty eradication.

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Last updated on 20 Apr 2017 .