Social Scientist. v 5, no. 58-59 (May-June 1977) p. 81.


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Removal of Poverty

CHINA'S ACHIEVEMENTS in eradicating poverty cannot be judged purely in terms of growth rates., tons of food produced or number of jobs provided. One must move quickly from such quantitative data to social indicators of progress reflected in income distribution, educational and health facilities., and equal opportunity. One must go beyond economic and social indicators and capture the piofound change that has created a ^new man' and brought him into harmonious relationship with himself and with other human beings. In China, all activity is centred on human beings,, not on things.

But let us first start with economic indicators which are impressive enough by any standard. Since Liberation in 1949., China has seen periods of rapid progress as also of decline in production. Excluding the first three years of recovery ^ in the subsequent 22 years till 1974^ according to some recent estimates, China has achieved an average yearly increase of 6 per cent in gross domestic product, 3.2 in agriculture, 9.7 in industry and about 4.2 per cent in per capita income.

Per capita income in real terms has more than doubled over this period and the share of industry and transport in total gross national product has risen from 20-25 per cent to 45-50 per cent. The agricultural growth rate of 3.2 per cent is well ahead of the average annual



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