• The 13th Five-Year Plan is focusing on the rural poor.

The 13th Five-Year Plan is focusing on the rural poor. (Photo : Reuters)

With more than 55 million people residing in China's underdeveloped rural areas, the ongoing "two sessions" have vowed to improve their lives within the next five years, as reported by Xinhua News Agency.

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The central government plans to increase its poverty alleviation budget by 43.4 percent this year, according to Premier Li Keqiang's government work report that he delivered last Saturday. This is expected to lift more than 10 million people from poverty by the end of the year.

Last year, there were 14.4 million rural residents succored from poverty.

When legislators from all across China sat together in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the story of Li Jinggao, a 63-year-old man from eastern Jiangsu Province, was shared.

Li was too old to work in a factory and could not support his wife of poor health and his son with learning difficulties. His whole family depended on government aid.

Three years ago, Li's local government lent him three ewes, which he cared for and bore for him seven to eight lambs every year. In 2015, he returned the original ewes to the government and have been able to live off of the offsprings ever since.

The central government strives to lift 55 million rural people from poverty in the next five years, so that they can build a moderately prosperous society by 2020. The leadership's promise is "not to leave a single family" behind.

On Nov. 22, heads of cities, provinces and autonomous regions from central and western China agreed to be evaluated by the central government, signing a "responsibility agreement."

Legislators who were in attendance at the two sessions have also expressed their commitment to the campaign.

However, an uncertain economy, along with decreasing natural resources, environmental degradation and the return to poverty, has threatened the fulfillment of the target.

During the parliamentary session, economist Li Yining shared a different story. He told of some black goats who were donated to poor farmers but were later slaughtered for food.

"Instead of 'just giving' we should make training a priority," said Li.

The draft of the 13th Five-Year Plan, which will mark the priorities of the government from 2016 to 2020, proposes to support poor villages in order to help them develop their own featured products and services.