World Bank President David Malpass spoke highly of China’s remarkable achievements in poverty alleviation at the opening press conference of the 2019 annual meetings for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D. C. on Thursday, which marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Allowing the market to play a bigger role in China’s economy in the past few decades has led to a “dramatic development” that pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, said Malpass.

In the 1970s, China made a dramatic set of steps forward, in terms of allowing market pricing for agricultural products, and allowing the market to make some of the decisions, where investments are made, he said, noting that it was a dramatic development that pulled literally hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

Now China was becoming more and more engaged and intertwined with the world economy, with global supply chains in a way that was positive for China and was very important in poverty alleviation in China, Malpass said.

The World Bank chief called on China to continue market-oriented reforms, to strengthen rule of law, to boost the competitiveness of state owned enterprises, which are important to China’s economic development and further poverty reduction in the country.

In a June report, the World Bank believes if the Chinese Belt & Road Initiative can be fully implemented, it will help boost the economies of the countries along the routes and is expected to pull 32 million people around the world out of poverty.

Since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, which represent over 70 percent of global poverty reduction.

China has also promised to wipe out extreme poverty by 2020, ten years ahead of the deadline set by the United Nations in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.