BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- China aims to "basically eradicate poverty" by 2020 while greatly raise its poverty line, in order to help more people in need, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Sunday.
The State Council is drafting a new ten-year poverty-reduction plan (2011-2020), in which the current poverty line of 1,196 yuan per year (about 0.5 U.S. dollars a day) will be greatly raised, Wen told a panel meeting of the ongoing session of the National People's Congress (NPC).
The nation will intensify its poverty alleviation efforts through aids and development, focusing on large areas of destitute population, he said to a group of NPC deputies from Gansu, one of the poorest regions in China.
According to the United Nations' standard of one dollar per person each day, China still has 150 million people under the poverty line.
Wen said lack of water was the bottleneck for Gansu's social-economic development, urging the province to expand the use of water conservancy technology.
Wen also urged the province to coordinate economic development with environmental protection, and reverse environmental degradation in Dunhuang, a historical city with world cultural heritage threatened by decertification.