字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント China claims it's eliminated poverty? But is that really true? Or is it just an excuse for propaganda? Welcome to China Uncensored. I'm Chris Chappell. Good news everyone! The Chinese Communist Party has defeated poverty. President Xi Jinping has declared a complete victory over extreme poverty on Thursday at a national conference in Beijing. Now you might be wondering, did the Communist Party really achieve a complete victory over extreme poverty? And the answer is, of course they did! This is the country that meets every one of their yearly GDP growth targets, no matter how much they have to fudge the numbers. And so the Chinese Communist Party has achieved complete victory over extreme poverty, by inventing their own definition of extreme poverty. I'll explain more in a bit. But don't focus too much on that part. The important thing is that China has lifted people out of poverty. During his speech, President Xi highlighted some of the achievements in this area since the country's Reform and Opening Up began more than 40 years ago. He said that during this time China has lifted more than three quarters of a billion out of poverty. This includes about 100 million people since 2012. We've talked before about how the Chinese Communist Party uses the phrase “lifted millions out of poverty” as propaganda. They want you to think of the Communist Party as a giant benevolent hand, gently lifting hundreds of millions of people from poverty. I talked about why that is essentially a lie in this episode. Basically, the Communist Party was responsible for putting a lot of people in poverty in the first place, and it was really the Chinese people who lifted themselves out of poverty once the Party loosened their complete control over the economy. But as this NPR article points out, Chinese propaganda outlets don't use the phrase “lifted out of poverty” in Chinese like they do in English. “While China's largest state-run news organizations routinely boast about China lifting its people out of poverty in their English-language editions, these same news organizations avoid the term in their native language.” So “lifting people out of poverty” is a phrase that's almost exclusively used to trick gullible foreigners. Just like “I'm an art student, come see my gallery.” Or “Be a man, eat this scorpion on a stick.” Mmmm. Crunchy. And very manly. And now the Communist Party is pushing truly over-the-top propaganda, like by declaring that “The problem of absolute poverty that has plagued us for thousands of years has come to an end.” But many Western media outlets are actually skeptical for once. The Washington Post points out that “Neither Xi nor state media explained how the figures were calculated and what threshold was used, prompting questions about the metrics.” The Chinese regime has previously defined extreme poverty as those living below $2.30 a day. But the BBC points out that the World Bank counts China as an upper-middle-income country. And according to the World Bank, that means the poverty line should be more than double that at $5.50 a day. Meanwhile AFP tried to talk to some of the villagers who were affected by the poverty alleviation drive, and got followed around by authorities. And at one interview, Chinese police showed up to “observe.” So clearly everything is great. Chinese leader Xi Jinping first announced this poverty alleviation campaign back in 2015, with a goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2020. Which of course meant that the Party was definitely going to eradicate extreme poverty by 2020. Even if they had to do it by literally erasing extreme poverty from the dictionary. The poverty alleviation campaign is an example of how the Chinese Communist Party governs through mass political campaigns. This one isn't as destructive of a mass campaign as the Cultural Revolution. And it's not as funny as Xi Jinping's Toilet Revolution. But whenever the Party launches one of these campaigns, everyone has to get on board. And I mean EVERYONE—from the central government down to local governments, the propaganda organs, the education system, even supposedly private Chinese companies like Alibaba. According to official figures, the Communist Party has spent almost 250 billion dollars on this poverty alleviation campaign. So did it work? I'll tell you more after the break. Welcome back. Has the Chinese Communist Party's massive and very expensive poverty alleviation campaign actually worked? Well, it's hard to tell because all of the information we get about this is from the Chinese regime. It's like trying to figure out how many people in China actually got the coronavirus. You know the number the authorities are giving you isn't real, but there's no way to figure out the true number. There's no denying that poverty alleviation has helped people. Foreign Affairs looked at one village where the local government gave grants and loans to villagers to build new houses. And families also got money from the government to raise their income to the poverty line. And as part of the massive propaganda campaign, Chinese state-run media have heavily featured personal stories of individuals who have benefited from poverty alleviation. One example is a farmer named Dong Heqin, who spent all of his life savings caring for his sick son. “In 2015, directed by local officials charged with anti-poverty work, Dong began planting chili peppers on his land. He now earns more than...93,000 dollars from his crop annually.” As the China Media Project points out, Dong has been featured in state-run media as a poverty alleviation success story since 2018. A typical example is this video from last year, that shows Dong studiously flipping through state-run newspapers, harvesting his peppers inside a giant greenhouse, and even pointing to a propaganda billboard featuring his own story he keeps inside his greenhouse for some reason. But after Dong hit the spotlight, some Chinese netizens pointed out some holes in his story. In a now-deleted WeChat article, a netizen brought up some questions, like, how did Dong get almost 50 times the average amount of land that Chinese farmers have? How did he get nearly 400 thousand dollars to build greenhouses on all of his land? And is he really making as much money from his crops as he's claiming? Considering how much land he has and how many peppers he could grow, “Dong could expect, at the high end, an annual turnover of about 250,000 yuan. This is less than 40 percent of what Dong has claimed in report after report.” So even these heartwarming poverty alleviation stories aren't what they seem. And there's a darker side to the poverty alleviation campaign, too. That's when the Party decides to help you, whether you want it to or not. Like when local authorities force villagers out of their ancestral homes, and into apartment buildings. In some cases villagers have ended up effectively homeless. There are also of course huge issues with corruption. According to official statistics, from 2016 to 2018 there were 200,000 cases of poverty alleviation related corruption. Mostly from people embezzling funds. And then there's how the poverty alleviation campaign has affected China's ethnic minorities. The Communist Party loves to trot out their happy ethnic minorities for propaganda. Like celebrating poverty alleviation by having them sing about how without the Chinese Communist Party there would be no new China. Or boasting about how poverty is being eliminated in Tibet. And Xinjiang. You can't be a poor person if you're in a concentration camp. I mean, you can still be poor—but they don't consider you a person. The truth is that the Party is destroying minorities' way of life by uprooting entire villages. And in regions like Tibet and Xinjiang, it's even worse. Poverty alleviation is one of the excuses the Party uses for sending Uyghurs across China as forced slave labor. And in Tibet, poverty alleviation programs are actually impoverishing Tibetan nomads. As well as being a great excuse for getting Party members to stay in Tibetans' homes for weeks to monitor and control their thoughts and activities. But nevermind all that. Because what's really important about this poverty alleviation campaign is what's in it for the Chinese Communist Party. And I'll get to that after the break. Welcome back. Like I said earlier, the Party's propaganda machine has been in overdrive. They're even making books and tv shows about poverty alleviation. And that's because this is a huge win. Especially for Xi Jinping, who has positioned this as his own personal campaign. Yes, Xi is leading China to zero poverty. Party mouthpiece People's Daily is even running a series called “the general secretary came to our home.” Featuring glowing pictures of Xi Jinping holding hands with the common man. If you ask me, it's a missed opportunity. He could have literally lifted that guy out of poverty. But this is all part of Xi's man of the people persona, like when he sat and ate an ordinary steamed bun at an ordinary restaurant. Just don't call Xi a steamed bun. Because then you're going to jail. Yes, Xi is a man of the people. As long as the people obey him. This campaign is also a huge win for the Party in general. You know, the Party that's devoted to serving the people heart and soul. My favorite Chinese state-run media, the Global Times, ran this article about how China's miraculous poverty alleviation is due to the Communist Party and China's socialist system. But wait, there's more! Like how they can use poverty alleviation to completely redefine human rights. “Is there a more important human rights agenda in the world than lifting 100 million people out of poverty in eight years?” Actually yes. Have you considered not killing people for their organs? Probably not. Because those organs contribute to GDP. Besides, the Party has more important things to think about. Like how to use poverty alleviation to criticize Western democracies...for criticizing China's success. And they try to make Western countries like, oh I don't know, America, look bad for not eliminating poverty the way that China totally has. And if you question whether China has actually eliminated poverty, you're obviously a Western supremacist. But while the Chinese Communist Party is having a field day with this, what happens after the poverty alleviation campaign is over? After the propaganda celebration ends, there could be long term issues. Like the fact that “Behind the poverty drive is at least $1 trillion in loans over five years, and a burden of cost falling increasingly to local governments.” Local governments that already have problems dealing with massive debts. And then there's the question of whether people will go back to being in poverty once the government aid stops. “Poverty alleviation official Ou Qingping warned in December that some people still reliant on aid had 'insufficient' means to grow wealthier.” Then he said that “Once alleviation policies are suspended, they are likely to return to poverty." So it looks like China's poverty alleviation still has a long way to go. And you know what that means. It'll soon be time for another mass political campaign. And now it's time for me to answer a question for a viewer who supports China Uncensored on the crowd-funding website Patreon. Go to patreon.com/ChinaUncensored to learn more. Richard Wallberg asks: "What do you think about Xi Jinping supporting the world economic forum's Great Reset? Was the CCP virus just a ruse to enforce lockdowns to enable them to implement the Great Reset?" Good question, Richard. We covered The Great Reset on our other channel, America Uncovered. Xi Jinping might like certain parts of the great reset, in so far as it's a justification for giving all governments more power. But Xi Jinping, and the CCP more broadly, have their own agendas—which are probably more sinister than the great reset that the World Economic Forum talks about. There's no evidence that the CCP Virus is a ruse to enforce lockdowns. The virus is real. And the CCP ultimately needs the people to work. If people are out of work and running out of money for too long, it creates potential for massive civil unrest. And that could threaten the CCP's grip on power. Thanks for your question, Richard. And thank you for watching China Uncensored. I'm Chris Chappell. See you next time.