3m brought out of poverty: China

Agence France Presse

Beijing, January 15:

China said it has cut the number of people living in poverty by three million in 2004, state media reported today. However, a total of 26 million people are still below the poverty line and another 60 million are living on low incomes, reported the China Financial and Economic News, citing figures from the Ministry of Finance and the State Council. The Chinese government last year spent 12 billion yuan ($1.44 billion) on poverty alleviation, the report said.

China’s current poverty line is set at an annual income of 637 yuan ($77), according to earlier state reports. But the World Bank, whose poverty standard is a dollar a day for each person, believes China has about 200 million poor people. The English-language China Daily earlier called on the government to adjust its poverty criteria in line with its economic growth.