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China's Sichuan lifts all counties out of poverty

Aerial photo taken on June 29, 2020 shows newly built village roads and a relocation settlement with winding trails leading to the original village in Abuluoha Village of Butuo County in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties. The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)

CHENGDU, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties.

The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list.

Liangshan is home to China's largest Yi community. Of its population of 5.3 million, about 2.8 million are from the Yi ethnic minority group.

The prefecture had long struggled with grinding poverty due to rough terrain and a harsh natural environment. In 2013, Liangshan had 881,000 people living in poverty.

Over the past five years, the prefecture has undergone a massive anti-poverty campaign, building over 10,000 km of rural roads, relocating 350,000 residents to government-funded housing in new locations, and helping 215 villages develop their collective economy. More than 11,000 officials have been sent to villages to assist local poverty battles.

By the end of last year, the poverty headcount ratio in Liangshan had been slashed to 4 percent, according to the provincial government.

China has set the goal of eradicating absolute poverty by the end of 2020.

Villagers from Haogu Village working at the nearby Fuzhao Modern Agricultural Industry Park in Zhaojue County of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Aug. 10, 2020. China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties. The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)

Aerial photo taken on Aug. 10, 2020 shows the overview of a kindergarten, a basketball court and an industry park in Suosuolada Village in Zhaojue County of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties. The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)

Aerial photo taken on Aug. 11, 2020 shows the overview of Zhaomei community and a kindergarten within the community in Zhaojue County of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties. The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)

Pupils run in line on the newly built playground of a primary school in Butuo County of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 22, 2020. China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties. The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)

Aerial photo taken on Aug. 10, 2020 shows the overview of the Fuzhao Modern Agricultural Industry Park in Zhaojue County of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province. China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties. The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)

Two girls read books in the newly built library of a primary school in Butuo County of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 23, 2020. China's Sichuan Province, whose mountainous areas have long been a citadel of abject poverty, on Tuesday declared it had removed the poverty label from all of its counties. The provincial government of Sichuan said seven counties in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture were the last group of counties in the province to be removed from the national poverty list. (Xinhua/Liu Kun)