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China Meets UN Commitment to Poverty Relief
Cover Stories Series 2015> China Meets UN Commitment to Poverty Relief
UPDATED: January 12, 2015 NO. 3 JANUARY 15, 2015
China and the MDGs

The drive to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the scheduled deadline of the end of 2015 has now entered its countdown phase. Many of the goals set out 15 years ago, which have served to gauge development levels and develop a global partnership for development, have already been transformed from mere aspirations into tangible realities. China has made tremendous contributions toward realizing the aforementioned goals.

China's single most significant contribution thus far is that it has enabled its 1.3 billion people to obtain an improved standard of living.

The issue of sustainability in feeding China's population was one that preoccupied many more than a decade ago. Today, securing subsistence, especially in terms of food and clothing, is no longer a problem for China because the country has achieved the goal of halving its poor population in 1990 well ahead of schedule. What the international community now marvels at is how China has been able to lift its people out of poverty within such a short span of time. In alleviating poverty, the developing world may well draw inspiration from China's experiences in the years to come.

The Chinese Government has incorporated the MDGs into its national development plan. It has taken great strides in attempting to maintain stable and rapid economic growth, adjusting its industrial structure, strengthening the construction of much-needed infrastructure, promoting urbanization, increasing employment, developing education and improving its social security system.

China has realized such goals as achieving universal primary education, eliminating gender discrimination in access to primary and secondary school education, reducing the mortality rate of children below 5 years old, preventing and controlling tuberculosis and malaria and providing safe drinking water and basic hygiene equipment. The country has also made progress in promoting universal employment and in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Aside from addressing its own MDGs, China has supported other developing countries' efforts to realize their goals. For example, it has helped African countries enhance their food producing capacities. In addition, the country has participated in the international partnership for development by helping other fledgling economies build infrastructure such as roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and agricultural irrigation systems and by alleviating or in some cases outright exempting the debt shouldered by poorer countries.

At a UN summit in September, world leaders are slated to create a development agenda beyond 2015. The Chinese Government has clarified its stance in a position paper published in 2013. Going forward, China hopes to formulate a new set of reasonable and sustainable goals and continue to work toward their realization.

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