TAIYUAN -- North China's Shanxi province plans to lift 26 counties out of poverty this year, authorities said Friday.
Around 610,000 residents are expected to be lifted out off poverty in 2018, or 87 percent of Shanxi's current poor population, said an official with the provincial poverty alleviation office.
As one of the poorest provinces in China, Shanxi had a poverty rate of 5.94 percent by 2016, 1.44 percentage points higher than the national average.
Last year, 740,000 people were lifted out of poverty, lowering the poverty rate to below 4 percent, according to the official.
China plans to eradicate poverty by 2020.
The country lifted 12.89 million rural people out of poverty in 2017, with the poverty rate declining to 3.1 percent at the end of last year from 4.5 percent a year earlier.