Lawmakers and government advisers have called for China’s first national legislation on poverty alleviation, as Beijing races to meet a self-imposed deadline to eradicate absolute poverty by the end of this year, reported Caixin.
The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development plans to study national-level poverty alleviation legislation to deal with relative poverty after completing its goal to eradicate absolute poverty, said a Caixin source close to the office.
The legislation should be designed to prevent potential return of absolute poverty and set up long-term mechanisms to address relative poverty, experts said. China’s current standard for absolute poverty includes rural residents with an inflation-adjusted annual income below RMB 4,200 ($602).
While China has lifted over 50 million people out of poverty since Beijing vowed in 2016 to end extreme poverty by the end of 2020, there is no national-level legislation on poverty alleviation. Ren Dapeng, professor of rural law at China Agricultural University, and numerous other experts said no law had been passed due in large part to frequent changes in anti-poverty policies and standards. Experts hope that a law could help maintain forward momentum on anti-poverty work after the campaign ends this year.