Interview: China’s success in poverty reduction should be example for other countries: Cambodian minister

Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith hailed China for its great success in combating poverty in a recent interview with Xinhua, saying that China's poverty reduction work should be an example for other developing countries.

According to official data, China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty over the past several decades, representing over 70 percent of global poverty reduction.

China is making fast progress towards eliminating poverty, with the number of impoverished rural residents declining from nearly 100 million in late 2012 to 16.6 million by the end of 2018.

"We have a lot to learn from China, and it's very impressive that China could eradicate poverty in just four decades, and I think that other countries can learn from that," Kanharith said.

The Cambodian minister attributed China's poverty reduction achievement to the right policy decisions made by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government and the hard work and patriotism of the Chinese people.

Kanharith said he first visited China in 1992 and had witnessed a remarkable change in the country's socio-economic development in the past decades.

In 1992, when he visited China, he spent long time on the way from the airport to downtown Beijing. "At that time, I didn't see a lot of cars, just millions of bicycles," he recounted. "Ten years later, I came again. I spent just about 30 minutes from the airport to Beijing and there were very few bicycles."

"This shows a lot of improvements in the economic growth of China, and this also translates into a better living condition for the people," he said.

In November, China Foundation for Peace and Development (CFPD) and Cambodia's Civil Society Alliance Forum (CSAF) launched a three-year project to eliminate poverty in a remote village in Bati district in southern Takeo province, about 60 km south of Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.

The project focused on improving village roads, providing families with clean water, providing health care support, developing agricultural sector and improving public environment as well as vocational training.

Kanharith said such a project would not only contribute to reducing poverty in Cambodia, but also promote people-to-people bonds between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the minister said China's rapid economic growth is a boon not only for the Chinese people, but also for the people around the world.

Speaking about the Cambodia-China relations, Kanharith said Cambodia is very satisfied with the excellent ties between the two Asian nations and praised China, as a big country, for treating Cambodia, a small country, on equal footing.

"China always respects Cambodia's independence and sovereignty, and China has never attached any conditions to its aid for Cambodia," he said. "All Cambodians are very grateful and we really appreciate this."

Source: China ASEAN Business Council