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Villagers pack up, head toward modernity


09:31, December 05, 2012

TAIYUAN, Dec. 4 (Xinhua)-- Although he has been "demoted" from a township chief to a village head, Xu Ruishan feels a sense of pride for managing to lead efforts to establish a poverty-stricken mountain township as a new village near town.

Jingtangsi Township, which once consisted of 1,400 farmers in 14 villages, was established as a new village in 2009, and it took about three years for everyone from the township to move in.

Nestled deep in Luliang Mountain, north China's Shanxi Province, the township had struggled with poverty for generations before relocating. In the township, residents made their living by felling trees and reclaiming virgin soil, further damaging the already fragile environment.

"Older generations had moved here to escape war, but the isolated location greatly hinders our development nowadays," said Xu, now head of Qinglian New Village located near Wuzhai County, Xinzhou City.

Luliang Mountain, which features annual precipitation of 150 mm to 400 mm, is vulnerable to a host of natural disasters, including soil erosion, landslides and drought. H People living there found it difficult to fetch water, and it was a two-hour walk to the county seat. Grain output was also low, according to Xu.

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