[Commentary] Extreme Poverty No More?

Author: RD16 | Reviewer: Rica Machioni

Xi, the head of the Chinese Communist regime just declared in a high-profile propaganda event on Feb 25 claiming success in “Comprehensive Poverty Alleviation.” Even though the event carried a glorified name as usual, “National Poverty Alleviation Summary and Commendation conference,” what it brings to the countless villagers’ homes may not be something worth celebrating for.

Image: Notice from a village in Guangxi, to terminate medical subsidies.

Just as illustrated in Mr. Miles Guo’s Getter[1] from March 3, “the farmers from a small village in Guangxi province received an official notice from the village committee stating that the medical subsidies originally allocated for all the villagers will end on Feb 28, 2021. From March 1 onwards, the health care premium cost per year per capita will rise from RMB 280 to RMB 720” [1].  A whopping 160% increase!

The financially strapped famers have been enduring the ever-raising medical premium cost over the years, now they get hit by this devastating blow. 

According to Baidu, China’s rural population takes up about 64% of the total population of 1.4 billion. And even with medical insurance policy having been pushed into the rural areas, it has never been widely deployed nor come close to providing a safety-net for the famers.

First of all, there has never been enough emphasis placed on this front. And why would it have? Medical care is such a cash-burning project and without proper funding and management, it only spells endless headaches for the government officials.

Second, the shortage of funding from government agencies of all levels. Come to think about it – back in May 2020, Li Keqiang, the member from CCP politburo who is in charge of economy, announced that there were about 600 million people with a monthly income of RMB 1000 [2], which is below the extreme poverty line defined by the U.N.

Photo: one of the poorest areas in China: the slogan on the wall reads, “promote ethnical education; elevate the qualities of the people”

One may imagine a big portion, if not all, of these 600 million people could very well belong to rural areas. So, if the government can save 440 Yuan per person per year, that’d be 44 billion of savings if we use 100 million people as an example.

Thirdly, corruption, an issue that has long plagued all levels of the government including the village level officials. So even if some money does get allocated from upper levels, after trickling down to the village level, not much is left to be put into the buckets designed for helping out the farmers.

After all, the so-called health care program designed for the rural population has always been more of an “image project” to glorify the Communist Party. And now, with the announcement of “eradication of extreme poverty,” it seems to be a perfect excuse to leave the poorest people out on their own, as through the CCP’s rosy-tinted lens, these people no longer exist.

It makes one wonder if the Communist Party is really that confident about its economy and financial power as it touts. Because if so, why would it even care to scrape the money out of the poorest people to keep themselves financially afloat?


#1. Mr. Miles Guo’s Getter (3/3/2021)


#2. Li Keqiang, 600 million people with income of RMB 1000/month


#3. Health insurance for rural area


#4. Photo: Poorest area in China


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