In October 2015, during the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, the Party committed to eliminating rural poverty by 2020. The goal was reiterated at the 19th National Party Congress in 2017. Now that we are halfway through 2020, what is the state of poverty elimination in rural China? What has been the impact of COVID-19? How are “left behind” children doing, especially now that some migrant laborers have been unable to return to their urban jobs because of the coronavirus? How do environmental issues, cultural preservation, and ethnic tourism fit in?
On July 23, 2020, the National Committee held a virtual program with Ms. Mei Lan, born and raised in a Chinese village, and Mr. Matthew Chitwood, an American who lived in the Chinese countryside until late last year, to discuss the current situation in rural China.