BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping officially said Thursday the country has completed its "arduous task" of eradicating extreme poverty, adding that almost 99 million people have emerged from it in the last eight years.
"Today we solemnly declare ... a complete success in the fight against poverty in the country," Xi said at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before thousands of delegates who packed the auditorium.
The president stressed that "regional poverty issues have been resolved" so China has ended its "arduous task of eradicating extreme poverty, creating another incredible miracle."
He also said 832 rural counties and 128,000 towns have been removed from the poverty list "under current standards," adding that this goal is announced in 2021, the centennial year of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Since China launched the reform and opening-up program in the late 1970s, the country has lifted 770 million people out of poverty, contributing to about 70 percent of global poverty reduction during this period.
In 2012, China set a goal of ending extreme poverty by 2020, 10 years ahead of what the United Nations set in its Millennium Development Goals.
According to the president, the eradication of extreme poverty has been possible with "a realistic and pragmatic approach" and thanks to "the political advantages of the socialist system, which can pool the necessary resources to undertake great tasks."
China has invested about 1.6 trillion yuan ($ 246 billion) in the past eight years in fighting poverty, Xi said.
About three million people have worked in the program in rural areas of the country.
In 2019, China set the extreme poverty threshold at 4,000 yuan a year, which represents $ 1.6 a day while the one established by the World Bank in 2015 is $ 1.9 dollars a day.
According to the heads of the Chinese Office for Poverty Reduction, the country's threshold calculated in real purchasing power is $ 2.2 dollars per day.