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China’s Xi Jinping celebrates ‘victory’ in 1.6 trillion yuan campaign to end rural poverty

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To mark a signature initiative of his eight-year tenure, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced “complete victory” in the effort to eradicate rural poverty at a ceremony in Beijing on Thursday.

State media credit Xi’s leadership with lifting nearly 100 million people from poverty, a milestone he declared in December and framed as a birthday gift for this year’s 100th anniversary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In an hour-long speech, Xi hailed what he called a testament to the party’s leadership and the advantages of China’s political system.

“The CCP’s leadership and China’s socialist system are the fundamental guarantees against risks, challenges, and difficulties,” Xi said in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, where he presented medals to key figures in the poverty fight.

Some global policy experts have said China sets a low bar in its definition of poverty, with the sustained investment required to fund continued development in its poorest areas.

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