A United Nations representative for human rights says China's efforts to reduce poverty could be undermined in the future unless efforts are made to root out corruption and better address public complaints.

Philip Alston said Tuesday that China risks sparking mass protests and unrest unless action is taken.

Alston is the U.N.'s special rapporteur for extreme poverty and human rights. He visited China for nine days and was presenting his preliminary findings.

Alston estimated that China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty in the last several decades thanks to its roaring economy and what he described as "genuine political will" to help the poor.

Authorities have stated they aim to lift all Chinese out of "extreme poverty" by 2020. Alston said he believes China will meet that goal.