Robert Kuhn: China and India work together to fight poverty and solve the common challenges of mankind

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 Robert Kuhn: China and India work together to fight poverty and solve the common challenges of mankind


The author believes that although there are still some differences between China and India, the focus of Sino-Indian relations should be how the two countries cooperate and make use of each others strengths and experience.

First, the strategic vision of the two countries is strikingly similar. Poverty reduction is at the core of both countriesshort-term and long-term vision, and it is this clear commonality that can motivate China and India to work together for common interests.

Indias anti-poverty movement has three main concepts: inclusive growth, rapid economic development and agricultural transformation. Individual actions include health and nutrition, education and skills development, and gender equality.

In Prime Minister Modis vision, infrastructure is very important: high-speed railways, inland waterways, all-weather roads linking all villages, and broadband facilities linking 250,000 villages.

Infrastructure is one of the fundamental drivers of Chinas remarkable successful experience in poverty alleviation. There is an old saying in China: If you want to be rich, build roads first.

Kuhn said that in recent years, his research focuses on the precise practice of poverty alleviation in China, so he has a personal experience of Chinas poverty alleviation campaign.

In 2013, President Xi Jinping first put forward the concept of precise poverty alleviation. Precision refers to customizing individual anti-poverty programs for each poor family. Chinas precise poverty alleviation has lifted 10 to 14 million people out of absolute poverty every year. Its success depends on strict, quantitative and transparent procedures. The criteria for poverty alleviation include adequate medical, educational and even sanitary facilities, such as flushing toilets, in addition to annual income criteria.

China has adopted a variety of poverty alleviation methods: industrial poverty alleviation and the creation of sustainable micro-enterprises; relocation from remote areas to transfer people; education and training; ecological compensation for people living in environmentally fragile areas; and social security, medical subsidies and direct subsidies for the unemployed. Every poor family has been helped, and every village has designated officials to implement targeted measures. Leaders of Party organizations at the provincial, municipal, county, Township and village levels should work together to alleviate poverty. Third-party agencies conduct periodic and random assessments to ensure accuracy.

Kuhn said that over the years, he has traveled to many parts of China, including the poorest places -- Thats why, although I think I know China well, Im still surprised by my discovery.

Kuhn found that every poor family has its own archives, a real notebook, and each family has its own goal plan so that every family can get rid of absolute poverty. Every familys process of getting rid of poverty is regularly assessed and centralized. At the beginning of 2019, the number of people living in absolute poverty in China has dropped to 16.6 million, and China is expected to eliminate all absolute poverty by 2020.

How can China and India work together to share experiences and unite to fight poverty?

In order to promote this process, the authors suggest that the Institute of Poverty Alleviation Institutions be established in Beijing and New Delhi with three effects:

First, we should promote two-way exchanges of poverty reduction procedures, projects and experiences between the two countries.

Secondly, priority should be given to digitizing poverty reduction, such as telemedicine and Internet education.

Thirdly, China and India can cooperate in poverty alleviation in other developing countries and integrate their procedures, projects and experiences.

The Institute should also publish materials including white papers, research reports, case studies, handbooks and other materials, hold regular meetings and exchange of experts.

The author concludes by saying that Chinas wisdom and experience can provide a new way for developing countries to modernize and solve the problems facing mankind. India pointed out that its unique development experience could serve as a model for the world. Traditionally, China and India are natural competitors, but the goal of poverty eradication can make them natural allies.

About the author: Robert Kuhn is the chairman of the Kuhn Foundation of the United States and an expert on China. He won the Medal of Friendship for Reform in China in 2018.