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23 million Chinese escaped poverty in 2012

TRAINBEIJING, Feb 22 – The number of people living below the poverty line in China was greatly reduced in 2012, as the country increased efforts to boost people’s income, new data has showed.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Friday that last year saw some 23.39 million rural dwellers edge above the poverty line, currently set at 2,300 yuan (about $365.83) in annual net income per capita.

The decrease brought the total number of impoverished rural residents to 98.99 million by the end of 2012, the data showed.

Rural poverty has been one of the major hurdles for the world’s second-largest economy and most populated country.

In 2012, however, China boosted its rural residents’ average per-capita net income to 7,917 yuan, up 10.7 percent year on year in real terms, according to data released earlier by the NBS.

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Jan. 18 announced a set of poverty-fighting plans for major regions including Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Hebei, Shanxi, Hunan, Jiangxi.

He pledged more efforts and noted the country still faces an uphill battle to improve conditions in under-developed areas.

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