It is certainly true that never before in human history have so many been lifted out of poverty as has been the case in East Asia over the last few decades. The suggested reasons for these are many, though few of them easily agreed upon.
In China, the poverty rate fell from 85% of the population to 27% between 1981 and 2004. This means an incredible 600 million moved above the poverty line, for we are, after all, talking about the most populous country in the world. In neighbouring Vietnam, the proportion of poor people dropped from 58% to 14% between 1993 and 2008.
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