Monday, 8 March, 2021

Significance of consolidating achievements of poverty alleviation in China’s border areas

Take the Border Areas of Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces as Examples

Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with local villagers in Hunan in 2013.

Sun Xiqin and Qin Ruijing

China won a decisive victory in getting rid of poverty and got rid of poverty as a whole under the current standards, but the achievements in getting rid of poverty have not been consolidated, especially in the border minority areas. In December 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized: “After winning the fight against poverty, we must resolutely hold on to the achievements of poverty alleviation and implement normal monitoring of the poor people who are easy to return to poverty. ”Ethnic areas and border areas are the main battlefields for China’s poverty alleviation, Yunnan and Guangxi provinces border areas integrate ethnic groups and borders, and undertake the special task of strengthening ethnic unity and stabilizing border areas.

Southwest China (Yunnan Province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) is bordered by Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos in Southeast Asia, with a land border of 4,697 kilometers, of which Yunnan Province has a border of 4,060 kilometers (China-Myanmar border of 1997 kilometers, China-Laos border of 710 kilometers and China-Vietnam border of 1353 kilometers), and Guangxi-Vietnam border is about 637 kilometers long. Sixteen ethnic groups such as Dai, Zhuang, Buyi, Miao, Yao, Yi, Hani, Jingpo, Lisu, Lahu, Nu, Dulong, Wa, De’ang, Bulang, and Jing live across borders. The geographical form of the border areas between Yunnan and Guangxi is mainly high mountains. From northwest to southeast, there are Gaoligong Mountain, Nu Mountain, Brown Mountain, Wuliang Mountain, and Ailao Mountain. The Nujiang River, Lancang River, and Yuanjiang Rivers are distributed alternately. The border areas between Yunnan and Guangxi are rugged, with high mountains and deep valleys, undulating terrain, poor natural conditions, and relatively backward development.

Due to the long borderline, the risk of returning to poverty caused by population loss, cross-border crime, network missionary, new drug trafficking, regional conflicts, natural disasters, COVID-19 pneumonia epidemic, and other factors has been increasing in recent years, In addition, it is worth noting that cross-border ethnic groups living abroad have not been paid attention to by their host countries for a long time, and their economic development level is low, and many of them are still in poverty. Because they share the same roots and origins with domestic ethnic groups, they are inextricably linked with China through visiting relatives and friends, working across borders, going to school across borders, marriage across borders, religious exchanges, commodity exchanges, etc. The development gap of the same ethnic group in history is widening day by day, which has a great impact on overseas cross-border ethnic groups, and has also adversely affected our hard-won achievements in poverty alleviation, affecting the stability and development of our border areas and the construction of a community of destiny around us. Therefore, it is of great significance to consolidate the achievements of poverty alleviation in China’s border areas.

2021 is the first year for China to consolidate and expand the achievements in poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. To consolidate and expand the achievements in poverty alleviation in border areas and comprehensively promote rural revitalization in border areas, we can start from the following aspects.

Firstly, strengthen the dynamic monitoring to prevent the reoccurrence of poverty. Improve the implementation of the cross-border areas of rural low-income population regular verification and "looking back" baseline investigation, tracking income changes. Improve and perfect the multi-sector linkage risk early-warning research and disposal mechanism, county and village monitoring and early warning, cadre visits and farmers reporting early warning and other active discovery mechanisms, so as to achieve early detection and early assistance.

Secondly, we need to continue to consolidate the achievements of "two guarantees without worrying about food and clothing, compulsory education, basic medical care, and housing security". Increase investment in education, ensure that children and adolescents from poverty-stricken families in border areas do not drop out of school during compulsory education, send them to special education schools for physical reasons, support young people to attend vocational education schools, and ensure that all school-age students have the right to education. Effectively guard against the risk of poverty caused by returning to poverty due to illness, and implement the policy of classified funding to ensure full coverage of medical insurance.

Thirdly, establish and improve a long-term mechanism for poverty alleviation and enhance the “hematopoietic function” in border areas. We need to implement a dynamic monitoring and assistance mechanism to prevent poverty from returning to poverty and integrate the establishment of a long-term mechanism to prevent poverty from returning into the rural revitalization strategy, so as to consolidate the achievements of poverty alleviation. Broaden the local employment channels, introduce foreign enterprises to invest and set up factories on preferential terms, and solve the employment problems of local poor people. We should focus on improving the ability and quality of border people, carry out labor skills training, and set up rural tourism and border tourism in qualified areas. Combined with the local natural environment, we should plant organic vegetables, Chinese herbal medicines and other characteristic agriculture according to local conditions, so as to stimulate people's labor enthusiasm.

Fourthly, strengthen domestic and overseas cooperation and create a good border environment. There are more and more cross-border marriages in border areas, and most of them are in poor economic conditions,A large number of cross-border marriages have become a reality. It is necessary for cross-border marriages to change from management to the combination of management and service so as to guarantee the corresponding rights of the cross-border married population and their children. In addition, drug abuse, drug trafficking, and AIDS have caused extremely bad influences on individuals, families and society. In view of the prevalence of drug abuse, drug trafficking and AIDS in border areas, it is necessary to increase investment, strengthen the management of border areas, improve people's awareness of drugs and AIDS, and strengthen international cooperation to control the spread of drugs and AIDS.

(Sun Xiqin is a scholar at Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, P. R. China and Qin Ruijing is also a scholar at Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, P. R. China)

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