China's State-Owned Giants to Launch $1.8B Fund to Fight Poverty
A group of 51 Chinese enterprises run by the central government has initiated a 12.2 billion yuan ($1.83 billion) fund to invest in the country's poorest region, as part of a state plan to utilize market forces to help eradicate poverty, Reuters reported.
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Companies including the Three Gorges Project Corporation, the State Grid Corporation, and the State Development and Investment Corporation will eventually increase the fund to 100 billion yuan ($14.8 billion), the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said as posted on its website on Monday.
According to a China white paper released on Monday, an estimated 55.75 million Chinese people are still living below poverty line, with annual incomes less than 2,300 yuan ($341).
The country aims to raise all of its poor out of poverty by the end of the decade, and this means, at least 10 million people will be lifted from poverty every year.
Xinhua noted that the fund will be allocated in resource exploitation, industrial parks construction, and urbanization of poor regions.
Priority regions of the initiative include the country's ethnic minority, border areas, and "revolutionary bases" of the Chinese Communist Party, the South China Morning Post reported.
Meanwhile, Reuters noted that the government and Communist Party are sending mixed messages to China's giant companies. On the one hand, they advise them to be more responsive to the market, while, on the other hand, they want them to fulfill their social and political duties.
Nevertheless, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the Party would continue to play its leadership role of the state sector. He describe China's state giants as "the most dependable support for the party and the state" and have key role on the party's efforts to "win many more historical values."