China’s Victory over Poverty: A Bad Thing? Let’s Have a Reality Check!

The reaction in Western media to the declaration by China’s President Xi Jinping of the “total victory over extreme poverty” in China in February 2021 was surprisingly predictable. In the best case, it was ignored. Otherwise, it was criticized as public relations promotional event to boost the image of President Xi himself!
Professor Michele Geraci, a prominent Italian economist and China expert and former Undersecretary of State of the Italian Economic Development Ministry, posted the following on his Facebook page on February 26:
“It is curious how the Western media manage to criticize China for even pulling 800 million people out of poverty, an historic achievement for all humanity that we should all be happy about”.
As an example, Geraci linked a Financial Times article claiming China’s President Xi Jinping is using the poverty issue to promote his personality. “Instead of studying the phenomenon well, understanding the keys to its success and studying what we [in Italy]—alas with 5 million poor people—could find useful, we focus on ‘eh, but the regime, democracy,’ a very useful psychological excuse for not wanting to address our institutional failure, both of the past decades and the past year,” Geraci added.
Professor Geraci, who spoke at the webinar organized by the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX) on EU-China relations in June 2020, has produced a series of five documentary films on China’s economic rise, and what can be learned from it. In this series, Professor Geraci, who has spent many years in China, goes deep into the roots and policies that made China’s fascinating economic development possible. His series consists of five thematic parts: 1. China’s rural economiy, 2. China manufacturing and export industry, 3. Urbanisation, 4. China banking system, and 5. The Chinese economic model. Part 1 was released recently and can be watched on YouTube.
It is becoming more and more difficult to obtain accurate and objective information about China, its policies and the Belt and Road Initiative in the Western media and think tanks, due to unfortuante geopolitical agendas and political differences.
The BRIX is committed to providing objective infromation from reality rather than ideology.