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Villagers in Chinese old revolutionary base area hail CPC’s achievements in 5 years

By Yang Zhenwu, Xu Jingeng, Yang Xuebo, Pan Junqiang (People's Daily Online)    16:01, December 22, 2017

The article, originally written in Chinese, is published on the front page of the People's Daily on Dec. 20, 2017.

Yimeng is an old revolutionary base area in eastern China’s Shandong province. During the war times, it served as an indestructible fortress where the local people showed unrequited support for the soldiers of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and hundreds of thousands of martyrs sacrificed themselves for the new China.

Chen Yi, the late Chinese militarist and politician and one of the 10 marshals in the Peoples Liberation Army, once noted that he would never forget the people in Yimeng, even after his death, saying they had fended the Communist revolution with the millets they grew and helped the revolution expand its influence.

During an inspection tour in Shangdong Province in December 2013, General Secretary Xi Jinping of the CPC Central Committee stressed that the Yimeng spirit, featuring an inseparable bond between the army and people, still plays a significant enlightening role in today’s Party construction.

With an aim to pay a tribute to the revolutionary martyrs and share the happiness and sorrows of the locals, People’s Daily interviewed four villagers in the region.

Women make insoles in Shilongguanzhuang village, Yiyuan county in Yimeng.

Villager Ma Jinlan: 19th CPC National Congress reassured us farmers

Ma is a 53-year-old woman working at a local toy factory who is quite satisfied with her current economic situation.

With a husband who has disability in one of his legs, the woman’s family was once stuck in financial hardship.

However, the new era has successfully freed her household from poverty.

According to her, she is now paid 20,000 RMB a year by the factory, and collects 3,000 RMB in rent from her land lease. Her husband can also earn 3,600 RMB every year by working part-time for the village. In addition, by growing cash crops on her non-contracted land, she earns an extra 4,000 RMB annually.

Ma attributed the good life to the favorable policies of the Central Government. She told People’s Daily that she has been reassured by Xi’s speech delivered at the 19th CPC National Congress, in which Xi promised that rural land contracting practices will remain stable, and the current round of contracts will be extended for another 30 years upon expiration.

“I know that Xi had worked in the countryside before, so he knows the hardships of the farmers,” Ma said, adding that she feels at ease with a General Secretary like this.

Veteran Li Xiankun: The people have been benefited a lot in the past 5 years

The 67-year-old veteran had a heart attack in 2015, the surgery for which cost more than 80,000 RMB. Though the medical insurance covered more than half of the treatment, the rest of the spending still impoverished his family.

When it rains, it pours. Last year, Li’s wife also suffered a heart attack, and the surgery took more than 120,000 RMB.

Fortunately, thanks to the favorable policy tailored for impoverished households, the government reimbursed most of the medical costs. “This huge amount of money will never be affordable for me, and we sincerely feel grateful to the Communist Party and the government,” Li said.

According to Li, he has a monthly subsidy of 1,700 RMB as a veteran.

“Increasingly concerned with the people’s livelihood in recent years, the Central Government has done a lot of practical work for the people,” Li said, adding that the people have benefited a lot in the past 5 years.

“We have all witnessed Xi’s efforts over the last 5 years,” the veteran noted, saying he must “click the like button” for the General Secretary.

The Menglianggu Campaign Monument in Yimeng

Li Yong: Xi accomplished what we expected to be done

Li Yong, 44, has been Party secretary of Chang Shanzhuang Village for three years. Li said he and his fellow villagers are inspired by the Party’s solemn promise to let the poor people and poor areas enter the moderately prosperous society together with the rest of the country, which was included in General Secretary Xi’s report to the CPC’s 19th National Congress.

Li’s village, which used to be a fortress village in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, won the title of “China’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Village.”

Years ago, Li found a job in the city, and later he started his own business and settled down in the city.

Before him, his three predecessors were all sent from provincial-level government departments to help the villagers. Following their steps, Li left his post in the city and engaged in helping fellow villagers get rid of poverty.

“My father told me you can govern a company, but you can’t always manage a village,” Li said, admitting that though he sometimes feels tired, he has made up his mind to devoting himself to the village.

Last year, Chang Shanzhuang mostly shook off poverty via rural tourism and providing scenes for over 300 movies and TV series, Li disclosed. The movie base had provided job vacancies for 170 villagers.

“With pursuing a rural vitalization strategy, safeguarding the property rights and interests of rural people, strengthening the collective economy, and other policies, President Xi’s report has injected confidence into us,” Li said.

“Coming from the old revolutionary base area, we have always followed the Party and we are confident that the Party will be a reliable one to meet its commitment to us,” Li said with confidence.

Zheng Shouzeng: Following Xi’s steps we are more confident

The general mood of the society has greatly improved since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, said Zheng Shouzeng, an elderly Party member.

Zheng, 71, has served Houli Village in the Menglianggu region in Mengyin County for 26 years, and has been a teacher for five years.

“After his election as General Secretary of the 18th CPC Central Committee in 2012, Xi conducted many research trips across the country, and set an example for all Party members to abide by the eight-point regulation,” Zheng recalled.

Before the eight-point regulation was enacted, village cadres would hold reception banquets for superior leaders at luxury restaurants in the city, but now they treat the latter with working meals, Zheng said, adding he and his fellow villagers feel delighted about this change.

Zheng said the anti-graft drive to oust corrupt officials from low-level “flies” to high-ranking “tigers” across the country is applauded by the people.

He hopes exercising strict governance over the Party will be a long-held campaign.

“Days earlier, I saw in the newspaper that new rules related to the eight-point regulation were rolled out. I believe they will be another strike on unhealthy work styles,” Li said, admitting that he has worried about the continuation of the effort to improve Party conduct and enforce Party discipline.

He further disclosed that Party members in his village are more united than before owing to tightened discipline. Now, efficacy of decision-making and the handling of village affairs are much higher than before.

“President Xi said that the CPC is the largest political party in the world. We should live up to our title,” Zheng said.

Zheng and his fellow villagers have been holding flag-raising ceremonies every day over the past four years, and wearing the Party’s emblem has become a habit for all the Party members in his village.

On Zheng’s desk lies the Party Constitution and reports about the Party. Zheng said they are not decorations, but real materials he will learn from till the end of his life.

“Without knowing the policies issued by the Party, how can we participate in political consultation in our village?” 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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