The Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region aims to lift its 3.41 million poor out of poverty by 2020 by boosting infrastructure and key industries, a high-ranking official said.
Guangxi is fourth among provincial-level regions in the number of people living under the poverty line, with 50 counties and more than 4,000 villages yet to be removed from the list, Sun Dawei, regional deputy Party secretary, said.
"Before 2020, about 900,000 people have to be lifted from poverty each year. It's an urgent and tough task for us in such a short time," said Sun, a delegate to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Guangxi is among 14 key cluster areas in the nation's poverty alleviation campaign, its importance exemplified by General Secretary Xi Jinping's visit in April. Xi said that Guangxi, an old revolutionary base and a border and ethnic area rife with poverty, must carry out targeted alleviation that will accelerate its development, helping people lead a happy life.
From 2012 to 2016, 6.09 million people were lifted from poverty in the region. The ratio of impoverished was reduced to 7.9 percent last year from 18 percent in 2012. Last year, the net income for farmers per capita was 8,800 yuan (,325) in the region's 33 key poor counties, an increase of 59.9 percent from 2012.
The per capita income for residents of rural impoverished areas rose by an average of 10.7 percent annually from 2013 to 2016, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Sun said half its poor live in rocky mountains with little farmland or water and few agricultural facilities, while residents are not well-educated and have yet to get professional skills training. Over 700,000 people have to be relocated, one of the biggest numbers among provincial regions.
The region will develop industries that benefit the poor, Sun said. Each county will prioritize five industries from existing ones while poverty-stricken counties will focus on three, he said.
From 2012 to 2015, more than 2 million people who were lifted from poverty benefited from development of key industries, which spent over 16 billion yuan in the area last year.