Relocation for poverty alleviation?

Contemporary China Seminar Series, Semester 1, 2017 – University of Melbourne

Relocation for poverty alleviation?: How will Xi Jinping’s ‘Precise Poverty Alleviation’ strategy affect China’s poverty alleviation resettlement program?

Professor Mark Wang, University of Melbourne

5.30pm-7.00pm Thursday 25 May, 2017
Old Geology, Theatre 1, University of Melbourne, Parkville

Admission is free, but places are limited so registration is essential
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China’s success in poverty alleviation in the last two decades has attracted worldwide attention, resulting in 800 million people being lifted out of poverty since 1978. The Poverty Alleviation Resettlement (PAR) program has been physically relocating poor rural villagers away from highly impoverished and/or ecologically degraded areas. It has been used as one of the key poverty reduction initiatives. Through this state-led resettlement program, the government aims to improve the living standards and access to infrastructure and services of the rural poor by moving them to more developed areas.

China’s recent thirteenth five-year-plan sets up an ambitious plan: The total elimination of poverty as currently defined in China by 2020, which requires the lifting of a final 70 million poor over the poverty line. To do so, Xi Jinping has redirected China’s poverty reduction program using the Precise Poverty Alleviation (PPA) strategy, which sets precise targets for projects assigned to specific local officials, the use of capital, and dedicated assessment of end results. The PPA strategy is expected to fulfil China’s target set up by the “Poverty Alleviation in the New Century” program. Based on my PAR project findings, this seminar will discuss two key questions: What are the potential impacts of the PPA on the PAR program and its outcomes? And can the PPA reduce China’s spatial inequality problem?

Mark Wang is a Professor of Geography in the Department of Resource Management and Geography at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science at Shanxi Normal University in 1982 and Master of Science at Northeast Institute of Geography & Agro-Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1985. In 1995 he gained his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. He has published widely in geography and environmental studies journals, and is author of Mega Urban Regions in China (1998), the co-author of China’s Transition to a Global Economy (2002), China’s Urban Space (2007), Old Industrial Cities Seeking New Roads to Reindustrialisation (2013), and Transforming Chinese Cities (2014).