High hopes as fifth plenary in accord with poverty relief

Updated: Jan 12, 2021 Print
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Communities and their leaders across Shanxi hail Central Committee's development blueprint

Guided by the spirit of the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, officials and residents in North China's Shanxi province are optimistic about the province's future and have pledged new efforts to promote socioeconomic development.

The Fifth Plenary Session of the CPC Central Committee was held in Beijing on Oct 26-29. It adopted the CPC Central Committee's proposals for the formulation of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for National Economic and Social Development and Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035, according to a communique released by the conference.

By issuing the blueprints for national economic and social development for the next five years and long-term goals for the next 15 years, the plenary session signals China's future development.

In Shanxi, as well as the rest of the country, the meeting has been warmly received. Both local officials and residents are in consensus on the results. They believe this historic meeting marked the country's entry into a new era of development.

Charity mall

In Huayuan community in Jiexiu city, officials held a meeting on Dec 24 at a charity items distribution center-which is called by locals as a "charity mall"-to spread the spirit of the plenary session to residents.

Duan Jianwei, Party secretary of the community, told the audience:"China has made remarkable achievements in its battle against poverty over the past five years, lifting 55.75 million rural residents out of poverty."

He said the city of Jiexiu, as well as the rest of the country, has made great achievements in poverty reduction.

He explained the achievements were a result of the guidance of the central authorities and the innovative efforts by the local governments as well.

The charity mall, which collects daily necessities from local donators and distributes them to registered impoverished families, is one such effort.

According to Duan, there are 55 households registered as impoverished in Huayuan community.

"We have implemented multiple measures to help them escape poverty. In addition to the government that offers them an allowance to ensure their basic needs in livelihood, local businesses and residents have given them a helping hand.

"Local enterprises have created jobs for the purpose of poverty alleviation and residents have donated money and daily necessities," Duan said.

The official said the charity mall was founded in August 2019 at the suggestion of local residents.

He added that community officials have established a management system to ensure the effective and transparent operation of the charity mall.

"We have put a billboard on the wall, with a full list of items in the mall," Duan said. "The needy residents can tick the items that they want the most."

Operators of the mall will calculate the ticks regularly and arrange donations according to residents' requirements, the official explained.

"As the communique of the Fifth Plenary Session says, China will improve the quality of people's lives and promote social advancement," Duan said. "We will make further efforts to help to improve people's livelihoods and ensure the success of poverty alleviation."

New settlement

In Shilou township of Shilou county, local officials are making great efforts in poverty reduction.

A new settlement has been established in the township for people who have been relocated from unfavorable living environments.

"In this new settlement, water, electricity, gas and central heating are readily available," said Ren Fuzhao, a resident.

In addition, there are a number of facilities for healthcare and education.

"In the past, children had to walk about an hour to get to school. But today, the schools are just a stone's throw away for many," said Wen Haisheng, another resident.

Huo Yongjian, Party secretary of the township, said offering jobs to residents is the most effective method for poverty reduction.

"For this purpose, we have cooperated with businesses in Shilou county to establish operations near the settlement for poverty alleviation," Huo said."We have also arranged training classes for locals to master job skills."

Kangping village in Youyu county has another new settlement for poverty relief.

According to He Kun, Party secretary of Kangping, the settlement has offered homes to 219 residents across 97 households from 16 villages.

"The living conditions of the settlement are beyond the expectations of many," He said.

As the settlement is only 3 kilometers from the county seat, it has better access to many resources.

"We are the first rural community in Youyu county to have central heating and the first to have a sewage treatment plant," the official said.

As locals find it easier to get jobs in the county seat, their quality of life has improved substantially.

"Before the relocation, the per capita annual net income of villagers was less than 6,000 yuan ($929). Now the figure has risen to about 10,200 yuan in 2019, representing a 70 percent increase from 2018 when the relocation took place," He said.

"While consolidating our achievements in poverty alleviation, we will shift our efforts to realizing higher-quality rural growth through agricultural modernization and developing more industries with local characteristics.

"Our goal is to develop an all-around well-off society, to make sure that all of our residents can be financially stable and live happier lives," He said.

Rural revitalization

In Shangwutou village in Xiaoyi city, Feng Xiaojin, a teacher from Shaoyi Party School, hosted a seminar on Dec 22 to promote the spirit of the Fifth Plenary Session.

"The Fifth Plenary Session's communique said China will prioritize the development of agriculture and rural areas, and advance rural vitalization," Feng told the audience.

The teacher shared his visions of rural revitalization. He also invited audience members to express their opinions on a moderately well-off society and high-quality development of agriculture.

Zhao Caigui, Party secretary of the village, said rural development should balance growth with environmental protection.

"We hope we can make growth sustainable by developing industries with local characteristics and ecological benefits," Zhao said.

The official and his colleagues have honored this promise. They persuaded a local agriculture company to set up a walnut-processing factory in the village.

"The company is in great demand for local walnuts, so it encouraged residents to plant more walnut trees, increasing vegetation coverage of nearby mountains and hills,"Zhao said.

In addition, the factory has created jobs for about 20 local residents, who can each earn about 80 yuan a day.

"As an official working for agriculture and rural affairs, I'm fully aware of the importance of my mission. I'm also confident that rural development in Xiaoyi city and Shanxi province will be offered strong momentum with the support of the CPC Central Committee and the central government," Zhao said.

Green industries

Yicheng county has adopted an approach to poverty alleviation and rural revitalization similar to that of Xiaoyi city.

In the county's Beizhang village, such fruits as apple, cherry and plum are the major cash crops that residents use to increase their incomes.

According to Jia Hailu, Party secretary of Beizhang, the planting area of such crops has surpassed 150 hectares, a strong boost to the local economy.

"As income increases in the village, we are able to build more roads and other public facilities," Jia said. He added that there will be more projects to boost local industries and improve local facilities like roads, electricity, telecommunications and logistics.

"As the CPC Central Committee continues to give priority to rural development, I believe the rural areas in Yicheng will have a better living environment and better growth potential," said Wang Yuan, Party secretary of Yicheng county.

"We have felt the great changes happening in the countryside over the past few years. I'm sure people will find rural Yicheng a better place to live in in the years to come."

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