Hu Chunhua, Party chief of Guangdong province, vowed on Sunday that the South China province will take the lead in poverty reduction and accomplish the task in 2018.
Guangdong has been ranking No 1 nationwide in terms of economic aggregate for the past 27 years, but Hu admitted that there is a wide disparity in wealth between cities in the province.
"In Guangdong there are places that are very rich, but also places that are very poor," Hu, also a deputy to the National People's Congress, said while taking media questions on the open day of Guangdong delegation to the NPC's annual session in Beijing on Sunday.
"Counted by per capita GDP, the largest city is 6.25 times of the smallest city. I don't think there are many other provinces or regions that have such a big gap between rich and poor."
Hu said that Guangdong surveyed the population in poverty in the province after the central government set a goal on lifting millions of people out of poverty within five years and found that there are still 300,000 people in Guangdong living in poverty according to the national standard, which means they earn less than 2,300 yuan ($354) annually.
If counted by the provincial standard, which is less than 4,000 yuan per year, there are still more than 1.9 million people in Guangdong living in poverty, he added.
Hu said Guangdong will hold a working conference after the two sessions in late March to draft the plan of lifting these people out of poverty within three years.