Once famous Indian politician Gandhi said, “Poverty is the worst form of violence”. The lines depict the ugly reality of poverty crystal. It seems okay to read about poverty in books or see the misery prevailing over long patches of land on the screen, but it is too harsh to experience it even for a while. Half of the population of the world lives in extreme poverty. They have no access to clean water, healthy diet, healthcare facilities, educational opportunities, and job availability. They are condemned to face the harsh weather without homes. The question is, how can we eradicate poverty from this planet earth? Is there any solution to this problem?
To find an answer to this question we must examine which countries have defeated poverty successfully at the national level. Only then can we utilize the experience of that particular nation for the people as a whole. We have two great powers in the world: the USA and China. If we compare the poverty ratio of these countries, according to global voices, The US poverty standard is 15 times higher than the Chinese counterpart. On the other hand, China has succeeded in lifting 800 million people out of the poverty line in 40 years.
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It is vital to have a look at China’s poverty alleviation program
China’s strategy to eliminate poverty was based upon two to three fundamental pillars: firstly boosting economic growth through industrialization, development of rural areas, and the model of “Common prosperity for all”.
China is the world’s leading country in the world to establish its infrastructural ties with the entire world through the projects like BRI (Belt Road Initiative). The mega project includes the transformation of the economies of the developing countries into industrialization, establishing factories, sharing the latest technologies, and sustaining cooperation through aids and packages. According to some estimates, the net worth of this BRI project ranges from 1 trillion to 8 trillion dollars.
The project is unique in the sense that it entails not only regional Asian countries (Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Iran), but also reaches Western countries including Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Germany as well as some African countries. The target year of completion stands at 2049. Thus this project would not only change the world order but would also mold the course of history.
The second important factor behind the poverty alleviation program is China’s rural-centric approach. The rural areas were developed, and industries were installed bringing job opportunities for the unemployed labor. The construction of homes, facilities for farmers with the latest technologies, improved drainage system, flood control, and preservation of heritage sites proved to be an effective tools in lifting the backward areas of the countries.
The third important strategy to enhance China’s program is “Common prosperity for all”. According to it, multinational companies are urged to divide their profits among the workers by raising their incomes and incentives. Strengthening the less privileged segment of society to foster economic equality in society proved a successful experiment to eliminate the ratio of poverty in the country.
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Since the dawn of the bipolar world, western countries have not met any success to sustain economic equality and alleviating poverty with such a great magnitude as that of China. Meanwhile, in the contemporary multipolar world, China’s growth has risen as a ray of hope in underdeveloped countries as well. Today, there is a crucial need to adopt the regional model of development in tackling Pakistan’s economic challenges instead of relying on miles away Capitalist models.