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Chinese president calls for joint efforts in Asia to alleviate poverty


Chinese President Hu Jintao said Saturday the Communist Party of China (CPC) hopes to work with all Asian political parties to promote poverty alleviation and development while building a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.

Hu's remarks were conveyed in a message at the Poverty Alleviation Conference of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) held in Kunming, capital city of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, read Hu's message at the opening ceremony of the meeting.

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu also attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech.

In his message, Hu welcomed the opening of the meeting on behalf of the CPC and the Chinese government. He said poverty alleviation and development is a common challenge for the world.

Achieving the United Nation (UN)'s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and promoting common development is the hope of developing countries around the world, he said.

The ICAPP since its founding has been committed to eliminating poverty and promoting development, he said, adding that all political parties in Asia attach great importance to the cause of international poverty alleviation and development.

Hu said the Chinese people have made a historic leap -- from having inadequate food and clothing to the overall well-off.

According to Hu, China's rural population living in poverty has been reduced from 250 million in 1978 to 35.97 million in 2009.

Summing up China's experience in his keynote speech, Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu said economic construction should never stop as development is the most effective way to reduce poverty.

Hui expressed confidence the conference will help promote the poverty reduction agenda and contribute to the development and prosperity of Asia and the world at large.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon sent a video message to the meeting. In it he said it is vital all Asian political parties share their experiences in alleviating poverty.

Ban called on Asia's political leaders to focus on efforts to alleviate poverty in the lead up to the high-level summit on the UN MDGs set to take place here in September.

Co-chairman of ICAPP Standing Committee Jose De Venecia, Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Suthep Thuagsuban, and secretary of the Yunnan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China Bai Enpei also addressed the meeting.

More than 120 representatives of 57 political parties from 30 countries attended the opening ceremony. Some African political parties, the UN and the Asian Parliamentary Assembly sent observers to the meeting.

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