Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, February 16th, 2019

China – A Poverty Alleviation Role Model for Afghanistan

China seeks to form a prosperous society and freedom from what has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the ruling party. The blueprint for poverty alleviation has been highly fruitful and it will bear the desired result in 2020. Achieving a prosperous life, the Chinese will enjoy the fruit of socialism with Chinese characteristics and reap the benefits of reform and opening-up began four decades ago.
To view the campaign of China’s government against poverty only within the past five years, more than 68 million people (70 percent) have been lifted out of poverty and the Chinese central government appropriated over 280 billion yuan to fund poverty reduction. Moreover, the government created 13.51 million new urban jobs and joblessness was the lowest in China in recent years. Last year, GDP grew 6.9 percent and personal income rose 7.3 percent. Chinese government also established a system to provide living allowances for the poor and the disabled.
In addition, China has actively played its role in regional and global issues and pursues the idea of win-win cooperation between China and other states. Besides opening its door wider to the world, China sought to settle tension between states and strengthen peace and prosperity in the region. For example, Beijing hosted a trilateral meeting with the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan on 26 December to revive a friendly relation between Kabul and Islamabad so that both the countries could discuss the issue of peace process and reinforce their combat against terrorism. Similarly, China is a key member of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) which is comprised of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the US and takes effort to bring peace in Afghanistan.
For the coming five years, Chinese Premier of the state Council Li Keqiang – who presented the past five-year achievements of the state in the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) on 5 March – said that Chinese government would deepen reforms in all spheres of social and economic life and lift over 10 million people out of poverty. In such a case, the 30 percent of people will be lifted out of poverty within the coming three years and the poverty alleviation will be accomplished in 2020. According to him, China will strengthen her efforts to improve social and economic issues at national and international levels.
Healso said, “We will foster a positive culture in which women are respected, children are cared for, the elderly are treated with respect, and people with disabilities are treated considerately.” He further maintained, “Ours is a government of the people, and everything we do should reflect their will.”
He added that the government will promote harmony between religions and encourage religious leaders and believers to engage in promoting economic and social development.
To view the aforementioned issues, Afghanistan is also in dire need of alleviating poverty and encouraging religious believers to promote tolerance and harmony. Afghan government will have to map out a route to end poverty and create jobs for people, especially for the youth. The government must have short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans, the same as China, for reducing the level of poverty and appropriate certain amount of money every year for this purpose.
It is believed that the large number of people who joins militancy are from poor families. They fight not for an ideological reason but to alleviate their hunger. In the same way, scores of Afghan youth and manpower take refuge to foreign countries to survive poverty and hunger. Poverty is also one of the main reasons behind the crime, which has been increased in Kabul city in recent months and those who live in the slums are involved in pickpocket, burglary, kidnapping, killing, etc. In short, poverty engenders great challenges across the country.
To stop the brain drain, prevent citizens from taking refuge to other countries, reduce crime, and mitigate insurgency, the government will have to create jobs rather than exerting pressure on them. Even death punishment will not reduce the level of crime and insurgency, unless jobs are created and people are lifted out of poverty.
The second issue which is encouraging harmony between religious believers will widen the room for peace and brotherhood and it is a necessary step to be taken in all countries, mainly in Afghanistan. Both Afghan government and religious scholars need to promote tolerance and harmony across the country to free it from violence and conflicts. In short, to form a violence-free and prosperous society, Afghan government should take China as a role model in social and economic spheres and work for the progress of society with strong determination and commitment.