Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China, a provincial-level administrative region, has the largest land area in China, accounting for nearly one sixth of the country's territory. Home to 47 ethnic groups, it had a permanent population of 25.23 million by the end of 2019.
Going back to 2013, Xinjiang had 3.2 million indigent people. Most of the people still living in poverty are the old and sick residing in areas with harsh natural conditions. Lack of natural resources makes it extremely difficult to lift them out of poverty.
With China pursuing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, not a single ethnic group or family is to be left behind in the progress.
The Central Government and the local government of Xinjiang have intensified poverty reduction work to help this group of people move out of poverty with special policies, funds, industrial development and job skill training. To ensure their access to compulsory education, basic medical services and safe housing, infrastructure such as roads, water and power supply and Internet access has been stepped up in poverty-stricken villages.
This year, over 5,286 poverty alleviation pearmarked for Xinjiang alonerojects were , with 40.54 billion yuan ($5.72 billion) budgeted for them. By the end of May, 5,208 of them had been started and over 39.6 billion yuan ($5.58 billion) put into use, covering not only the impoverished but also some who have been brought out of poverty so that poverty reduction results are consolidated.
With the battle against poverty in Xinjiang at a crucial final stage, the novel coronavirus epidemic created new challenges. Now the local authorities are on full alert against the virus, which has been contained, and at the same time fighting poverty, with policies to create jobs for people near their hometowns, boosting consumption-based poverty reduction and resuming agricultural production in an orderly way.
With all this meticulously planned support, the remaining impoverished population in the region is set to shake off poverty as scheduled. Xinjiang is racing through the last mile to eliminate absolute poverty by the end of the year and be part of the moderately prosperous Chinese society in all respects.
(Printed Edition Title: A Crucial Stage)