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Wolfowitz: China still needs World Bank
(AFP/China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-10 07:03

Despite its booming economy, China still needs assistance from the World Bank to alleviate widespread poverty, particularly in rural areas, its chief Paul Wolfowitz said.

Wolfowitz: China still needs World Bank
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz answers questions during a group interview in Tokyo October 9, 2005. [Reuters]
"There are nearly 200 million people living in extreme poverty in China in spite of the enormous progress that has been made in the last 20 years," he told reporters in Tokyo on the first stop of a tour of Asia.

World Bank assistance, which currently amounts to about one billion dollars a year, was no longer the largest contributor to China's development, he noted.

"But it is appropriate, in part because there are still large numbers of people in China living in poverty. It's our mission to help those people anywhere in the world find opportunities for a better life."

The World Bank president touched down in Japan at the start of a two-week tour that will also take him to China and Russia ahead of a meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers near Beijing.

The World Bank chief said that although China was still a major recipient of assistance, he hoped that in time Beijing would itself become a significant contributor.

"We're in a process of moving from China as a major recipient of World Bank assistance to, at some point in the future, probably China will become a significant donor to the World Bank."

Wolfowitz to visit World Bank projects

During the October 12-18 visit, Wolfowitz will meet Chinese farmers during trips to see some of the bank's poverty-alleviation projects.

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