Xi's inspection tour raises hopes for further development of new area
In six years, Yuan Fangzhen's life has been completely transformed — from a villager living in a rural area to the proud resident of a new city.
Moving with his family to a new residential community in Xiong'an New Area in North China's Hebei province in November 2021 has given his life a sense of fulfillment, said the 47-year-old deputy Party secretary of Xili village in Rongcheng county.
As part of the relocation package, the family of three is living in a new 140-square-meter apartment in Xiong'an's Rongdong district, after receiving compensation for their old home in Xili.
"The apartment is tastefully done. It has four bedrooms and two living rooms. Life has changed for the better and I'm so happy," Yuan said of his family's new home in the Nanwenying residential community, adding that there was a time when he envied people living in big cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, but now his standard of living is enviable.
Yuan is one of the many people benefiting from the development of Xiong'an. In April 2017, the central government announced its plan to set up the new city about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing. The aim was to emulate urban centers such as the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area.
On Wednesday, President Xi Jinping visited the Nanwenying residential community, among other places, during his inspection tour of Xiong'an New Area.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presided over a meeting on promoting the area's development, held informal interactions with residents and community workers and expressed his satisfaction with their living conditions.
During the meeting, he emphasized the need to give the people a more concrete sense of fulfillment and happiness through the development of the area.
According to Yuan, public services in his community are advanced and convenient, and so is the supporting infrastructure. "There are three big parks only five minutes away. I take a stroll after dinner every day," he said.
More than 7,300 people currently live in the community, and over 5,000 among them have relocated from Anxin and Rongcheng, two of the three counties covered by the new area. The third is Xiongxian county.
Yuan's sense of fulfillment was echoed by Li Jinghe and his family, whose home was visited by Xi during his inspection tour.
"The ambience of the community is really nice; there are parks nearby and buying food is very convenient," Li's wife Xing Jie was quoted as saying by Hebei Daily.
People living in residential communities in Rongdong have access to public services, and Yuan said everything is "almost perfect" for his family now. His wife manages two grocery stores, while his 21-year-old son studies at Hebei University in neighboring Baoding city.
He hopes for a brighter future when more talents come to Xiong'an, and his wife's stores make better profits. "The rent is high for the stores compared with earlier times," said Yuan.
Speaking about his future plans, Yuan, who graduated from a local technical secondary school, said he would like to hone his skills and use them to serve the residents better. "I also hope my son returns here after graduation. He majors in electronic information and can use his knowledge to contribute to the development of the new city," he said.