NPC deputy, CPPCC member: Macao offers poverty-relief help to Guizhou
Updated 10:55, 13-Mar-2019
By Zhou Jingnan

The arduous fight for poverty reduction in China is approaching its end as the country's poor population is planned to be lifted out of extreme poverty by the end of 2020. 

Among all the areas that are gearing up for the final victory, Macao, the special administrative region (SAR) that doesn't normally make its way to headlines on poverty alleviation, has actually been contributing its share to the motherland's great cause.

Since last year, Macao has been providing help for the poverty reduction of the Congjiang County of the mainland's southwest Guizhou Province. 

With a GDP volume of 6.67 billion yuan (992,300,000 US dollars) - only 1/35 that of Macao in 2018 - Congjiang is considered as a county with serious poverty. It has also been designated as a key target for development-oriented poverty alleviation. 

Non-governmental organizations in Macao raised 100,000 yuan (14,898 U.S. dollars) for students in Congjiang County with a charity walk in Macao, December 15, 2018. /VCG Photo

Non-governmental organizations in Macao raised 100,000 yuan (14,898 U.S. dollars) for students in Congjiang County with a charity walk in Macao, December 15, 2018. /VCG Photo

In May 2018, by signing a cooperation framework agreement with the Guizhou government, the Macao SAR government, together with the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Macao, has set up a mechanism to coordinate different projects for Congjiang county's poverty relief in fields such as education, trade and economy, tourism, personnel training and cultural exchange.

In an interview with CGTN Digital, Wu Xiaoli, deputy to the National People's Congress from the Macao delegation, said that in her eyes, education is the area that has seen the most notable achievements.

Representatives from Macao's social service field, including Wu Xiaoli inspect Congjiang, Guizhou Province on December 14, 2018. /Photo provided by Wu Xiaoli

Representatives from Macao's social service field, including Wu Xiaoli inspect Congjiang, Guizhou Province on December 14, 2018. /Photo provided by Wu Xiaoli

According to her, companies from Macao have planned to invest five million yuan (743,881 US dollars) in constructing school buildings that will accommodate 800 students in Congjiang. The project is scheduled to be accomplished by May this year. 

New kindergartens will also be built and old ones renovated, Wu added.

She also spoke highly of the efforts made by teachers from Macao to communicate and exchange teaching experience with local teachers. 

01:19

Huang Rukai, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), who is also from Macao, emphasized that the help from Macao in alleviating poverty in Congjiang goes beyond financial means, during a conversation with CGTN Digital.

Macao has been trying to tap the tourist potential of Congjiang, noted Huang.

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Macao and Congjiang have also cooperated on human resources. Among the nine agreements signed between Macao and Guizhou, one agreement laid out a plan to bring 500 workers from Guizhou to Macao until 2023, with most of them coming from Congjiang.

Chen Wei is one such worker. Before coming to Macao to work as a security guard at the University of Macao, he didn't have a steady job in his hometown. 

Chen said he is pretty happy about working in Macao as the salary is much higher than what he used to be paid. The benefits are also better, according to Chen.  

Chen Wei from Congjiang County works as a security guard at the University of Macao. /CGTN Photo

Chen Wei from Congjiang County works as a security guard at the University of Macao. /CGTN Photo

Chen also said that he intends to introduce his friends to the idea of working in Macao.

When it comes to the hurdles in better facilitating poverty-alleviation help, Wu said she is mainly concerned by four issues: First, figuring out the optimal way to cooperate with Congjiang; second, implementing poverty-reduction plans to their fullest; third, mobilizing the whole society to participate in the poverty reduction undertaking; fourth, effectively supervising the flow of funds for poverty relief to make sure they are put to the best use.  

As the anti-poverty campaign enters a critical stage, more persistent effort will be needed to address problems that may emerge through the process.

Despite the hardship, both Wu and Huang have reiterated Macao's strong willingness to contribute to its motherland's prosperity. 

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As planned, Congjiang County will aim to reduce the number of poor citizens by 36,000 this year and lift 99 villages above the poverty line. 

(Videographers: Zhou Jinxi, Zhang Wanbao; Video editor: Li Yahui)