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Ex-Thai deputy PM hails China’s poverty eradication drive

Korn Dabbaransi, president of the Thai-Chinese Friendship Association, expresses best wishes to China and bilateral ties on the eve of China’s National Day on Oct 1. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

China has shown the world how it has been prioritizing people’s well-being with unwavering efforts toward poverty alleviation and protecting lives during the pandemic, said former Thai deputy prime minister Korn Dabbaransi. 

China has shown that fighting against poverty and corruption is among its government’s most important policies and that it would exercise all of its power to make sure that every citizen has left poverty behind, said Korn, president of the Thai-Chinese Friendship Association. 

Despite the changing of leaderships over the years, the Chinese government had consistently worked to fulfill the goal and eventually eradicated absolute poverty in the country by 2020, said former Thai deputy prime minister Korn Dabbaransi

“It is the policy of the Communist Party of China to assure the well-being of the people. It is the work of the government that has turned that policy into reality,” said Korn. Fifty years after the People’s Republic of China resumes UN membership, “China has shown to the world that well-being of the people earns the highest priority.”

As China announced the elimination of thousand-year-old absolute poverty earlier this year, it also accomplished its related pledge for the No 1 item of 17 UN sustainable development goals 10 years ahead of time.

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Since his first visit to China in 1975, Korn has visited China 155 times, witnessing the country’s development through his own eyes.

“I still remember walking in front of the Beijing Hotel, talking to people (who were) waiting for buses…the traffic was congested with bicycles…there was no department store. All costumes were the same design, all provided by the state,” said Korn. 

In 2019, when Korn stood at the same spot in front of the century-old hotel, Korn was amazed by things surrounding him. 

“There was no bicycle in sight. The latest models of automobiles were running around. The latest designed constructions were on the skyline in all directions,” said Korn. “People in the latest fashion look very lively and cheerful.”

After the policy of reform and opening-up was introduced in 1978 by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, China started to roll out a large-scale poverty alleviation program. 

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Over the past 40 years, about 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty, contributing to more than 70 percent of the world’s poverty reduction work, according to a white paper released by China’s State Council Information Office in April. 

Personal incomes of Chinese people have grown steadily, with the average per capita disposable income up from 171 yuan ($26.5) in 1978 to 32,189 yuan in 2020, said another white paper released on Sept 26. 

“When Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1978…he set the goal… (that the number of) poor people in China must decrease by 20 million per year,” said Korn, noting having a specific target contributed to China’s success. 

Despite the changing of leaderships over the years, the Chinese government had consistently worked to fulfill the goal and eventually eradicated absolute poverty in the country by 2020, said Korn. 

“The key to such success lies in three qualifications – stability, unity, and no corruption,” he said. 

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Noting the success stories of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative first raised in 2013, Korn said the initiative is a message from China that the country is willing to help every developing country lift their people above the poverty line.

“China has already proven to the world that China can do it,” said Korn. “If we all can build this Road of Peace together, then we can give prosperity to the people of that country together.” 

China is among the first to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control and Korn said the BRI has been brought to the picture just in time as the country is able to show kindness to countries outside China. 

China has provided more than 1.25 billion vaccine doses to more than 100 countries and international organizations and medical supplies to more than 150 countries and 14 international organizations, according to Xinhua News Agency. 

It has supplied more than 320 billion masks, 3.9 billion protective suits, and 5.6 billion nucleic acid testing kits globally. In addition to donating $100 million to World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, China has pledged to donate 100 million additional vaccine doses to other developing countries this year.

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China has provided over 40 million vaccine doses to Thailand as of end September, according to the Chinese embassy in Bangkok. 

“The people of Thailand can feel and touch those vaccines donated from China since the pandemic erupted,” said Korn. “The people of Thailand only wish to express their sincere appreciation to the government and the people of China for their kindness.” 

“Thais and Chinese will remain as one family forever,” said Korn.