A recent propaganda report claimed hitting the 2020 target would represent “a step against poverty unprecedented in human history”. In his annual New Year address to the nation last week Xi made a “solemn pledge” to win his war on want. “Once made, a promise is as weighty as a thousand ounces of gold,” he said.
The current wave of anti-poverty relocations - a total 9.81 million people are set to be moved between 2016 and 2020 - are taking place across virtually the whole country, in 22 provinces. However, China’s western fringes, which still lag behind the prosperous east coast, are a particular focus.