Beijing: China has over 100 million people living below the poverty line, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development conference in Brazil stressing that his country remained a developing nation, despite its emergence as second largest economy in the world.
Addressing the conference Wen said as a developing country, China may boast a fairly large economy, but its per capita income ranks around 90th in the world.
Calculated according to a new standard, China still has more than 100 million people living below the poverty line, official media here quoted him as saying while addressing the meeting at Rio de Janeiro.
He said China faces an uphill journey in promoting sustainable development.
"Moreover, pressure from resources and the environment continues to mount, and problems of unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development remain challenging.
"Last year World Bank pegged China's below poverty line population who lived on less than USD 1.25 a day at about 150 million.
Stressing on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the basic principle of Kyoto Protocol to address the carbon emission issue between developed and developing countries, Wen said China faced an uphill journey in promoting sustainable development as its per capita income is at a rather low rank.
He pledged that China will take a more active part in pushing forward international cooperation, participate in global governance for sustainable development, gradually increase assistance to other developing countries and work with the international community to build a better world for future generations.
As an active practitioner of the strategy of sustainable development, China takes special care to harmonise the relationship between economic development, social progress and environmental protection, he said.
China is also the first country in the world to reach the Millennium Development Goals of halving the proportion of the poor, Wen said.
He announced that China will contribute USD 6 million to a UN Environment Program trust fund for projects and activities that help developing countries raise capacity for environmental protection.
He also promised that China will make available 200 million yuan (USD 31.7 million) for a three-year international project to help small island countries, least developed countries and African countries tackle climate change.
First Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 15:07