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Stories of poverty reduction can be seen all over China: Gert Grobler

2021-Aug-25       Source: Newsgd.com

“The only way forward on global poverty reduction, is what China has been saying all along, namely international cooperation and solidarity. We must follow a path of peaceful coexistence. If we don't,
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“The only way forward on global poverty reduction, is what China has been saying all along, namely international cooperation and solidarity. We must follow a path of peaceful coexistence. If we don't, we will push the world into division and confrontation.”

Gert Grobler, Former South Africa's ambassador to Spain, Japan and Madagascar, comments in a recent interview with GDToday. Grobler is now living in Jinhua, Zhejiang, working as the senior research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University.

International cooperation and solidarity are the key to poverty reduction

GDToday: You wrote in your paper that “the absolute key to addressing poverty reduction is pursuing enhanced international cooperation and solidarity”. Will the potential geopolitical confrontation bring new challenges to poverty reduction?

Gert Grobler: Poverty alleviation amid the pandemic is probably one of the most important issues that perplexes the world. We are living in a difficult and uncertain world with a lack of leadership, bullying, protectionism, conflicts, populism and other issues.

Challenges like health problems, environmental degradation and growing gaps between the rich and the poor are all interlinked. But the responses to these challenges show no coordination. What happened with COVID-19? Did the Americans and the EU do their own things?

The only way forward on poverty reduction is what China has been saying-- international cooperation and solidarity. We must follow a path of peaceful coexistence. If we don't, we will push the world into division and confrontation.

Chinese people and government cooperate to achieve poverty alleviation

GDToday: Can you share some details about your trips to rural areas in China? Were there any cases of China’s poverty alleviation that gave you deep impressions?

Gert Grobler: I saw and listened to many stories from the people. They told me about the how they worked with governments, and how the close bonds developed between the government and the people. You can sense their pride and joy. The integration of social economic projects, the ecological and cultural conservation, the agricultural transformation, the excellent governance, and anti-corruption campaign were all impressive. I have not seen anything like this in many other countries.

I remember one ethnic group in Yunnan province invited us to a dinner at their village. They showed us photographs of the village around 20 years ago and what it looks like now. That was so impressive to see where they are today, with what they have now and what they have been provided for in cooperation with the government.

China is a reliable and valued partner to Africa

GDToday: Now African countries are committed to implement the African Union Agenda 2063. What are the pressing problems for the African society to achieve that agenda? How can China as well as “Belt and Road” Initiative get involved?

Gert Grobler: Africa is a country with a rapidly growing population and the highest percentage of young people, so proper education, training, and jobs are needed. Africa needs a better education system, to be prepared for the era of digitalization and urbanization. And it needs to trade more.

China is a reliable and valued partner for Africa, and will be there to help Africa realize its dream. China is by far the largest trading partner of Africa and one of the main investors. China has built roads of 6,000-kilometer and railways of 7,000-kilometer. For example, ports and railway connections have been built in Ethiopia and Nigeria. These works have a positive and significant impact on African continent’s economic situation.

 

Reporter | Hannah, Sherry (intern), Huang Yanting (intern)

Video | Axin, Zoey, Jason (intern)

Editor | Keane, Jerry

Editor: Hannah

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