SHANGHAI Oct 18 A group of 51 enterprises run
by the Chinese central government has launched a 12.2 billion
yuan ($1.83 billion) fund to invest in the country's poorest
regions, as part of China's strategic plan to use market forces
in the fight against poverty.
Firms like the Three Gorges Project Corporation, the State
Grid Corporation and the State Development and Investment
Corporation will gradually increase the fund to 100 billion
yuan, the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration
Commission (SASAC) said on Monday on its website (www.sasac.gov.cn).
According to the official Xinhua news agency, 70 million
people still live on incomes of less than 2,300 yuan per year,
which is China's official poverty line. China aims to reduce
that number by 10 million a year starting from 2016.
Xinhua said the fund will invest in resource exploitation,
the construction of industrial parks and urbanisation in China's
It said priority regions included ethnic minority and border
areas as well as old "revolutionary bases" of the Chinese
China is in the middle of a sweeping reform programme
designed to rejuvenate its lumbering state sector and create
industrial champions capable of competing internationally.
But the government and the Communist Party have delivered
mixed messages to the country's giant state firms, saying they
should be more responsive to the market while at the same time
fulfilling their social and political responsibilities.
At a meeting earlier this month, President Xi Jinping told
heads of state-owned firms that the Party would continue to play
a leadership role in the reform of the state sector.
He described China's state owned enterprises as "the most
dependable support for the party and the state" and an important
force behind the party's efforts to "win many more historical
victories", according to an account of the meeting published by
($1 = 6.6685 yuan)
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Michael Perry)