Central Chinese county sets example in fight against poverty
Xia Ruixue, Meng Mingwei

33-year-old Yan Chunguang used to be one of the poorest people in his village. His family of six relied heavily on him alone. As Yan despaired over his life, Lankao County began adopting policies of targeted poverty relief in 2014. Local authorities dispatched officials to his home, taught him how to raise chickens, and helped him access bank loans.

Yan said, "Now I've raised more than 10-thousand chickens, which can rake in a profit of around 300,000 yuan a year. I've also opened a small store, making and selling sesame oil and paste. I can earn around 70,000 yuan a year from that too. My life is getting way better now."

Yan's family escaped poverty nearly four years ago. But county officials working to eradicate poverty still haven't forgotten him. They often visit his home, and ask him if he's experiencing any difficulties. That's to make sure he's not at risk of falling back into hardship.

Zhuang Yanfei, the county official, said, "Every day for the past couple of years, I've devoted all my life and passion to helping them have a better life. If China announces that it's eliminated extreme poverty at the end of the year, I think I'll be very proud to have been part of it."

Li Mingjun,  head of Lankao County, said, "Lankao was removed from the list of impoverished counties in 2017. Our job since then has been to keep up the good results and obtain more wealth for the people through sustainable development. We hope we can build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the end of this year."

There are still 350,000 people and more than 50 villages below the poverty line in Henan province. Lankao's success is viewed as an example for all of them. Drawing on their experience, local officials are confident they'll be able to help everyone here break free from extreme poverty by the end of the year.