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Wednesday Seminar | Poverty Alleviation and Local Government in Yunnan | 2nd February @ 3:00 PM IST | Zoom Webinar

02 Feb 2022
Ritu Agarwal
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Time: 3:00 PM

Poverty in China is often considered to be a rural problem. The official Chinese view is that the poverty is concentrated in certain geographical regions and Yunnan province is home to a considerable number of poverty-stricken areas. At the national level, the central government has designated 592 counties as poor counties, 73 of them are located in Yunnan. The new strategy for poverty alleviation devised by Xi Jinping called for a targeted approach in selecting the poor households in different regions of China. Under this strategy, the local government is leveraged to formulate specific policies which are meant to target real poverty. Yunnan has emerged as a key region where targeted poverty alleviation programmes are mandated to and implemented by the local government. The developmental policies of Yunnan have focused on the natural farm production like tobacco and the cash crop cultivation to bring substantial increase in the farmers' income in rural minorities areas, however, the benefits of economic growth remained limited to the prefecture and provincial level cities.

In this context, this paper seeks to examine; (a) what are the determinants identified by the Central government to designate poor population in China and how do those criteria need to be reformulated in the context of Yunnan Provincial experience? (b ) Why did the poor counties not benefit from the macro economic growth in the province? ( c ) What has been the poverty alleviation model adopted by the local government in response to Xi Jinping’s drive to bring market entrepreneurship in ethnic minorities regions in Yunnan.


About the Speaker

Ritu Agarwal is an Associate Professor at Centre for East Asian studies, School of International Studies, JNU. She holds a Ph.D. in Chinese Studies from the University of Delhi. She has completed M.A. in Political Science from JNU. Her Doctoral work explored the micro-level agrarian transformation in Yunnan province and she is currently engaged in questions of provincial transformation especially in Yunnan. Her research interests are: rural political economy, urbanisation, gender studies and provincial politics. Dr. Agarwal studied Mandarin Chinese from Beijing language and Culture University, Beijing. She was a visiting scholar to Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, Kunming, and visiting fellow to Yunnan Minzu University and Yunnan University recently. She was also affiliated to the Chinese University of Hong Kong and East Asia Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore to collect material for her research work.


About the Chair

Manoranjan Mohanty  an Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, its founding member and former Chairperson. He was a Professor of Political Science and Director, Developing Countries Research Centre at University of Delhi where he taught Comparative Politics, Chinese Politics and Research Methodology. Currently he is a Distinguished Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi where until recently he edited the CSD-Sage journal Social Change. He is also the Emeritus Chairperson, Development Research Institute, Bhubaneswar, the research wing of Gabeshana Chakra of which he was the founder-president. He has had academic assignments in many institutions abroad including in California, Beijing, Moscow, Lagos, Copenhagen and Oxford. His recent publications include Ideology Matters: China from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping (2016, Hindi edition 2021) and China’s Transformation: The Success Story and the Success Trap (Sage,2018), Hindi edition Cheen ka Kayapalat (Sage Bhasha, 2020) based on a 30-year study of China’s reform with focus on Wuxi.

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