China’s central SOEs to offer 3.2 billion yuan for poverty alleviation

Photo courtesy of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council

By Li Jie, People’s Daily Overseas Edition

China’s centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) vowed to overcome the negative impacts of the novel coronavirus epidemic on industrial production, and promised to offer 3.2 billion yuan (about $457.14 million) of funds to 246 designated poor counties this year, 692 million yuan more than last year.

The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) and central SOEs shoulder the heaviest tasks in China’s battle against poverty among all central units assigned with poverty alleviation missions – they are responsible for offering pair assistance to 246 designated poor counties, or nearly 42 percent of all the 592 key counties for national development-oriented poverty alleviation work if counting in Pingxiang and Weixian counties in Hebei province – two designated counties receiving pair assistance from SASAC units.

China’s central SOEs, while facing heavy tasks of their own reforms and development, have invested and introduced 20.6 billion yuan in various forms of assistance since 2015, which has helped accelerate the development of poverty-stricken areas and increase the incomes of the local people.

So far, 219, or around 90 percent of the 246 counties designated for poverty alleviation by central SOEs have either been lifted out of poverty or are undergoing checks, and over 90 percent of the central SOEs were rated as “great” or “good” in the assessing of poverty alleviation work last year.

Characteristic and effective approaches have been explored by the central SOEs in the poverty alleviation practice.

Infrastructure facilities are being enhanced. China Mobile, one of the major telecommunication enterprises in China has invested over 120 million yuan in network building since it started offering pair assistance, improving its telecommunication facilities and widening broadband connection. By the end of 2019, all of the administrative villages and registered impoverished villages in Baisha county, south China’s Hainan province had been covered with 4G network, and 6,402 impoverished people there have been benefited by favorable packages offered by the company.

The central SOEs have been focusing on areas of extreme poverty, such as Tibet, Xinjiang’s Hotan, Aksu, Kashi, and the Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture of Kizilsu, and the areas of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu, and Qinghai provinces with large Tibetan populations, as well as Liangshan in Sichuan, Nujiang in Yunnan, and Linxia in Gansu, diversifying approaches that lead to long-term development.

China Communications Construction invested 14 million yuan to construct resettlement areas in Nujiang, southwest China’s Yunnan province, where many people lived in remote and isolated mountainous areas, benefiting over 3,000 residents from 741 households. The construction group has also invested 105 million yuan and 145 million yuan respectively to build two bridges in Nujiang, which will facilitate the transportation of the 30,000 resettled people upon completion.

In addition, China’s central SOEs are also diversifying poverty alleviation models through development programs and consumption. In a rural tourism project launched by China Tourism Group in poverty-stricken counties, the group has made black-pottery making, a local technique of Nixi township, Yunnan province a featured tourism program, which largely increased local villagers’ income. At present, households in the township can each make 80,000 to 90,000 yuan a year from making black pottery.

Gao Feng (left), a poverty alleviation cadre from Zhongshan Power Supply Bureau, China Southern Power Grid checks the growth of bell pepper with a local farmer in a green house in Zhaoqing, Guangdong province.

Photo courtesy of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council

Gao Feng (left), a poverty alleviation cadre from Zhongshan Power Supply Bureau, China Southern Power Grid checks the growth of bell pepper with local farmers in a green house in Zhaoqing, Guangdong province.