China Claims to Have Eliminated Poverty, but the Figures Mask Harsh Challenges


Professor Carl Minzner shared his expert opinion on China’s claims to have eliminated poverty with The Washington Post.

To great fanfare, Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday declared his country’s “complete victory” over extreme poverty.
In an hour-long speech delivered from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi said the government under his leadership has waged and won “a massive people’s war against poverty,” lifting 100 million people out of destitution. The official news agency Xinhua called the achievement the “great leap of a millennium.”
“This is the glory and honor of the Chinese people,” he said, before presenting medals to local officials and residents deemed “model fighters” in the government campaign, which he called “a splendid miracle shining in history.”
“Xi Jinping claimed victory in the war against the coronavirus and now he is claiming victory in the war against poverty. This gives Xi the ability the claim victories in two major challenges facing China. This is crucial if you are trying to position yourself as a leader akin to Mao,” said Carl Minzner, a professor at Fordham Law School and author of “End of an Era: How China’s Authoritarian Revival Is Undermining Its Rise.”

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