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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

How Internet links the global village

By Xu Lin and Huang Feifei (China Daily)

08:36, April 20, 2012

Guo Weijing is a cunguan in Ke'an village, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and has been connecting villagers to the Internet. (Xu Lin / China Daily)

Guo Weijing is possibly China's lowest ranking official.

But he has made a big difference in the way he has connected rural communities online.

The 27-year-old, who studied Japanese at Guangxi City College in 2008, has become the cadre of Ke'an village, on the fringe of Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

The job earns Guo about 2,000 yuan ($317) per month.

His focus has been connecting villagers to the Internet, he says.

"I want to try my best to solve problems in rural areas," Guo says.

"Many university graduates are working jobs that have nothing to do with their majors."

Guo is among a growing number of graduates around the country who've responded to the government's call to serve village cadres since 2006. There are about 200,000 college-educated village cadres - called "cunguan" - in China. The number is expected to grow to 600,000 in 2020.

Guo attended the recruitment exam only to accompany his classmate. But Guo passed, while his friend didn't.

There are more than 1,000 households with nearly 5,800 people in Ke'an, about 2,000 of whom are migrant workers in big cities.

About 200 households have the Internet.

Guo has established websites and newspapers for the village, in addition to a micro blog for the Party branch of college-educated cunguan.

"It's easy to meet online because micro blogs are popular with young people, and we can communicate at any time," he says.

The cadres discuss problems and share experiences and information online.

It enables various villages to interact, too. For example, a village that produces fruit can partner with one that makes baskets.

"Because I was a student without work experience or money, I had nothing to offer but my computer skills," says Guo, who used to operate a website in college.

In October 2008, he spent three days building Ke'an village's website, which has accumulated 130,000 hits. He had to hire a tricycle to a nearby village's Internet cafe, because Ke'an had no Internet access then. The county government later provided the village office a computer and Internet access.

"It cost just 82 yuan to register the site," he says.

"I paid it out of my own pocket."

The website publicizes local news and village affairs, in part to enable the migrant workers who've left to keep in touch with new developments, promote Ke'an to the outside and strengthen cohesion among the villagers.

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