china rural village Zhang Peng/LightRocket/Getty Images

La fin de la pauvreté en Chine ?

BEIJING – L’un des chiffres les plus cités sur la Chine pourrait bien être le nombre de Chinois qui ont été délivrés du joug de la pauvreté au cours des 35 dernières années. À plus de 800 millions, cette statistique est impressionnante — et relève de l’exploit. En fait, aucun autre pays n’a autant réduit le niveau de pauvreté à si brève échéance. Mais qu’en est-il des millions de Chinois laissés pour compte ?

Les autorités chinoises se sont engagées à terminer le travail, avec pour but de réduire à néant la pauvreté rurale d’ici 2020. Elles en ont pris l’engagement aux Nations unies en 2015, et l’ont réitéré dans d’autres réunions officielles subséquentes. Or, pour que cette promesse soit respectée, dont l’amélioration du bien-être d’environ 45 millions de personnes (à peu près la population totale du Soudan), il faudra engager des sommes considérables.

La réduction de la pauvreté, comme beaucoup d’initiatives d’envergure, obéit à la loi des rendements décroissants : plus vous en faites, moins vos efforts sont productifs. Ainsi lorsque vous remontez une montre : plus on la remonte, plus le ressort-moteur résiste, prenant plus d’énergie pour tourner la tige pour la même distance.

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