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Xi: Poverty relief key to prosperity goal

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, learns about poverty alleviation efforts in a village of Xiping township in Datong city, North China’s Shanxi province, May 11, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

President instructs officials to work resolutely to help improve people’s lives, create jobs

President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of poverty alleviation work to secure the country’s development goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects during his two-day inspection tour of Shanxi province that concluded on Tuesday.

The local government should help the remaining poor people to get rid of poverty and work out more follow-up policies to help those who have moved out of the impoverished areas, Xi said at a symposium on Tuesday afternoon.

He instructed the officials to uphold a people-centered development philosophy, make solid efforts to improve people’s lives, and promote the employment of college graduates, veterans, migrant workers and poor people in urban areas.

President Xi Jinping visits an organic day lily farm in Datong’s Yunzhou district and talked with people working there, May 11, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Immediately after he arrived in the province on Monday, Xi traveled to an organic day lily farm in Datong’s Yunzhou district and talked with people working there. Local farmers plant day lilies and make a living from selling the edible plant.

“This is a promising industry, and we should protect and develop this industry to make it a good path for the farmers to get rich,” he told the farmers.

The farmers told Xi that in recent years they have achieved a stable output of quality day lilies with a guaranteed market and price, helping lift a number of impoverished households out of poverty.

Yunzhou district used to be a poverty-stricken area, where growing day lilies had a long history but was not on a large scale. Now the total area of day lily cultivation has increased from around 1,000 hectares before 2010 to the current 10,000 hectares, generating a total revenue of 65 million yuan ($9.17 million) in the district last year.

“Last month, I traveled to a village cultivating black fungus in Shaanxi province. I said there that there is ‘little fungus and big industry’. And you are also engaging in a big industry of planting day lilies,” Xi told the farmers.

During the trip last month, he talked with villagers who were preparing for livestream marketing of their agricultural products, including black fungus. Online sales of fungus soared soon after the president’s visit.

The Shanxi tour, which came only about 10 days ahead of the annual sessions of the national legislature and political advisory body, followed Xi’s visits to Zhejiang and Shaanxi provinces in late March and April.

President Xi Jinping visits Fangcheng New Village in Datong’s Xiping township on Monday afternoon, May 11, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

During these inspection trips, Xi has underlined the importance of poverty alleviation on a number of occasions, the key effort that is crucial to promoting all-around social and economic progress.

According to the agenda set by the Communist Party of China, the government will lift all poor people out of poverty by the end of this year. It would be the first time that China has eliminated extreme poverty in its history.

While visiting Fangcheng New Village in Datong’s Xiping township on Monday afternoon, Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said that the CPC wholeheartedly seeks happiness for the Chinese people.

Bai Gaoshan, a resident of the village, told Xi that the life of his family has seen great changes after relocation amid local poverty alleviation efforts.

“Had it not been for the Party, I would not have lived a happy life now,” Bai said. “We villagers sincerely thank the CPC.”

Xi stressed that the CPC is dedicated to the happiness of the people, as no agricultural taxes or fees are levied, and by helping impoverished rural residents build their own homes, training them in skills and finding ways for them to live a better life.

President Xi Jinping visits the Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Shanxi province, on Monday to learn about local historical and cultural heritage protection efforts during his inspection tour of the province. [Photo/Xinhua]

While visiting the cave art site at the Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Xi stressed the protection of the Yungang Grottoes as they are a “treasure of human civilization”.

The Yungang Grottoes represent the characteristics of Chinese culture and the history of cultural exchanges between China and other countries, Xi said, adding that protection of the site should be a top priority.

With 45 major caves and more than 51,000 statues, the 1,500-year-old Yungang Grottoes were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

While inspecting Gansu province in August 2019, Xi visited the Mogao Grottoes to learn about the site’s history and cultural heritage protection work.

President Xi Jinping visits Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co in the capital of Shanxi, North China, May 12, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

On Tuesday, Xi visited Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Co in the capital of Shanxi, where he learned about the company’s high-end products and encouraged the workers to make new achievements in technological innovation.

He cautioned that disease prevention and control work should be continued during the process of resuming work and production.

Xi also visited the Fenhe River, the second-largest branch of the Yellow River, on Tuesday afternoon, and instructed the local government to protect the ecological environment.

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