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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Contact cards connect villagers and officials

By Li Yingqing and Guo Anfei (China Daily)

09:00, February 13, 2012

Party chief of Yunnan province Qin Guangrong dines with a family in Bixi village in the Mojiang Hani autonomous county. (China Daily / Yang Zheng)

KUNMING - Zhang Renquan, a villager in Southwest China's Yunnan province, never expected he would receive a visit and greetings from the top official of the province before the start of Chinese New Year.

"The Party secretary made and ate a dinner with us, chatted and said Happy New Year to us with a toast," recalled the 42-year-old Zhang, who lived in Bixi village in Mojiang Hani autonomous county. "He even stayed at my home for a night and paid me a fee."

Many other villagers gathered at his home after hearing that the top official of the province was paying a visit. "All of us were so glad," Zhang said.

The Party secretary of Yunnan province, Qin Guangrong, asked about how the villagers make their livings and about their dealings with officials, Zhang said.

With the government's help, the village of 47 households was moved in 2010 from a previous location where it had been vulnerable to landslides.

"The new practice - the one that the provincial government started and that encourages direct contact between officials and residents - is really helpful," Zhang told Qin, showing him a card bearing the telephone numbers of prominent county officials.

The cards have helped alleviate various concerns in the villages, Zhang said. In one instance, they played a role in getting a wooden bridge replaced.

"The old wooden bridge was very dangerous and a villager once fell off it ... and was drowned," Zhang said.

Zhang said the head of the village used the card to get in touch with officials. That led to the plan to build a new bridge.

Feng Liyin, head of the village, said the 8-meter bridge cost 120,000 yuan ($19,000), an amount paid by the township government. The project is expected to be finished by April.

"Once the bridge is finished, I'm not going to worry about floods any more," Zhang said.

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