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Severely Impoverished Areas

As a result of inadequate and unbalanced economic and socialdevelopment, different areas in China face different levels of poverty. Severely impoverished areas are areas with extreme poverty and are the most difficult places to eliminate poverty. In the words of Xi Jinping, the fight against poverty is itself a tough one, and the fight in the severely impoverished areas is the toughest of all.

The severely impoverished areas in China include the following:

(1) Contiguous areas of extreme poverty: Tibet, the Tibetan ethnic areasin Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, the four prefectures in southern Xinjiang (Hotan, Aksu, Kashi and the Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture), and the three prefectures (Liangshan in Sichuan, Nujiang in Yunnan and Linxia in Gansu). These places suffer extremely poor living conditions; there are complex causes of poverty and a great shortage of infrastructure and public services, and the poverty headcount ratio remains at 20 percent;

(2) Counties suffering extreme poverty: According to an analysis of 20 percent of China’s poorest counties conducted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, these counties are scattered across 14 provinces and autonomous regions, and have an average poverty headcount ratio of 23 percent, each with an average of nearly 30,000 impoverished people; and

(3) Poor villages: There are 128,000 poor villages, where live 60 percent of China’s poor population. Their infrastructure and public services lag far behind, and their Party branches and villagers’ committees are very weak. Three quarters of these villages have no cooperatives and two-thirds have no collective economy. No one is responsible for village affairs, no one takes the initiative to do poverty alleviation work, and the villages have no money for projects.