China firmly supports the fight against poverty and will provide strong support for rural development to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.
Li made the remarks as he presented the annual government work report to lawmakers at the opening meeting of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's legislature, underway in Beijing from March 5 to 15.
Fight against poverty to continue
The central government will specially allocate 126 billion yuan (18.7 billion U.S. dollars) to fund poverty alleviation efforts in 2019, an increase of 18.9 percent from last year. These additional funds will be mainly used in areas of extreme poverty, Li noted.
He said other forms of financial support will continue to be channeled toward impoverished areas, especially those affected by extreme poverty.
China will prioritize addressing the prominent issues of guaranteeing the basic needs of food and clothing for those living in poverty, and ensuring that they have due access to compulsory education, medical care, and safe housing, he added.
The Chinese premier also called on officials to step up poverty alleviation efforts by developing local industries and boosting employment, education, health care, and social security. He added that China will strengthen the internal drive and capacity for self-development among groups living in poverty.
China will continue to advance the trial integration of various funds for rural development in poor counties, ensure that provincial-level governments assume overall responsibility, and promote targeted investment and use of poverty alleviation funds, Li said.
Providing support for rural development
Li said China will support the improvement of rural environments with focus on infrastructure construction, garbage and sewage treatment, and agricultural production waste recycling. The country will press ahead with its "toilet revolution" and improving villages' appearance.
"We will step up the building and maintenance of roads and other infrastructural facilities in rural areas, and raise the level of public services across the board," Li said.
"We will refine government reward and subsidy mechanisms for rural public works projects, and support efforts to bring the beautiful countryside initiative to the next level and the growth of collective village economies," he added.
China will strengthen the capacity of rural community-level organizations to provide guarantees for rural development, he noted.
A new type of urbanization
China will advance the development of a new type of urbanization, Li said.
The central government will earmark 30 billion yuan to support the process of granting urban residency to people with rural household registration living in urban areas.
China will further improve transfer payment methods, ensure a reasonable sharing of costs in the residency-granting process, and ensure that basic public services are accessible to all permanent residents, he noted.