• The Financial District


China’s leader, Xi Jinping, is expected to declare victory in a yearslong campaign to eliminate extreme poverty, according to a report from the New York Times.

But the coronavirus pandemic has exposed shortcomings in the effort to lift up China’s most vulnerable, especially in rural areas.

Experts warn that the government’s response to the crisis — favoring infrastructure spending and tax breaks instead of direct aid for families — may even widen China’s gap between rich and poor.

The lengthy lockdowns in China left rural residents stranded hundreds of miles from the factories where they work, and many were unemployed for months. And much pandemic aid went to businesses in urban areas.

Mr. Xi’s antipoverty campaign — which has mobilized millions of officials and cost billions of dollars — is focused on around five million people who earn less than 92 cents a day, down from nearly 56 million people five years ago.

Local officials maintain detailed lists of the income levels of poor residents and hand out subsidies, housing and loans.

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