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China eliminates poverty in 85 counties

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China , on Wednesday , announced that another 85 counties have been officially taken off the country ’ s list of impoverished areas , marking further steps toward its goal of eradicating poverty by 2020 .
The announcement , made by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development , came on the fifth National Poverty Relief Day, which falls on October 17 every year .

This is the largest number of counties to shake off poverty since China vowed in 2015 to win the battle against poverty .

It brings the total number of counties removed from the poverty list since then to 153 .

“ This is an important achievement in the decisive stage of fighting the tough battle against poverty , ’’ Xia Gengsheng , deputy director of the office said .

The 85 counties , from nine provincial regions , went through assessments from third – party institutions before being removed from the list.

Seventy – four of them are in the country ’ s less- developed western regions , and 25 are in southwest China ’ s Tibet Autonomous Region .

“ A county is removed from the list if less than two per cent of its population lives below the poverty line , defined by a per capita annual income of 2 , 300 Yuan ( around 333 dollars ) at 2010 prices .

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“ In the country ’ s western regions , if less than three per cent of the people live in poverty ; the county will be removed from the list .

“ Removing the 85 counties from the poverty list was in line with local economic and social development , the decision can stand tests and is recognised by the public , ’’ Xia said .

He , however , called for continued poverty relief policies and efforts in these counties .

( Xinhua/ NAN )

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