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Liupanshui Municipal Government Reduces Poverty

By Joseph S. Margai (People's Daily Online)    10:32, July 31, 2018

Qianhu village, in Guizhou province, was once regarded as one of the poorest but tourism has transformed the life of people.

The Municipal Government of Liupanshui, a city in Guizhou Province in Southwest China, in collaboration with a very strong support from the central government, has intensified its poverty alleviation drive by creating jobs, providing the necessary infrastructure, and thereby improving standards of living for people in Qianhu village.

With funds from the Liupanshui Municipal Government, a 7-day media tour to the city and its environs, which was organized by People’s Daily Online, to get first-hand information about the intensification of poverty alleviation strides, is ongoing.

Local residents, who were once living in poverty-stricken conditions, confessed that things have turned around for the better, as the creation of jobs has brought respite to the once despondent village.

Zhu Meicong, a lady in her early 30s, who resides in the village, said previously, they were doing agriculture but the mountainous topography of the village posed serious challenge for them to earn a living from their predominant trade (agriculture).

She, however, noted that the initiative of the Liupanshui Municipal Government, to transform the village into a touristic site has breathed a sigh of relief for them.

“In a village of over 4,000 residents, most of us are employed as tour guides, interpreters, cleaners, horticulturists, craftsmen, security guards, among other jobs. We own 70 percent of the shares in the tourism sector here operated by Lantern Tourism Company,” she said.

Prior to this time, the inhabitants were only doing subsistence agriculture and could not realize a cent from such activity. But Zhu Meicong revealed that at the moment, the average monthly income of all of them working is 2,000 Yuan, approximately US$295.

As Guizhou Province is known for its cool weather temperature in summer, thousands of local and foreign tourists, pay visit to the village, according to Zhu.

“Young people stay here for at least four days but the aged, who are mostly retirees, can stay here for two weeks during summer. We have over 400 guestrooms and each guest pays the sum of 200 Yuan, approximately US$30 per night,” she said.

She noted that the village, which has a history of over 8,000 years and currently occupied by the Yi ethnic minority, has over 1,000 houses for them to reside, adding that they had only been resettled in the village for three years after its transformation.

Fan Guoyong, a man in his mid-30s who also resides and works in the village, told this reporter that he now enjoys life in the village more than any time in his life, adding that he works in the tourism company as a security guard.

“I earn my salary every month and some of my family members are also working here. Really, since the municipal government has created job for us here, there’s no need to leave for big cities in search of employment. We have hospitals and schools here for our children and we are happy,” he gladly said with a beautiful smile.

A standing committee member in the Department of Publicity of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Liupanshui city, Wang Chao, said Guizhou province including all its cities and counties, was one of the poorest in China.

He reiterated that agriculture was the predominant occupation of the people but they were not benefiting from it, adding that the government, in 2014, decided to transform the counties into tourism and places for the manufacturing of foodstuff, cultural items, among other businesses.

“We create stable jobs, construct good houses, provide basic social amenities like electricity and water supply, schools and clinics, recreational facilities. We knew that to make life better for these villagers, we must construct good roads and bridges including railways and provide means of transportation. The Chinese government has done all of these and one can see the improvement in their lives,” he noted.

Those, who can waive local clothes, make shoes, design wood into attractive furniture, according to the CPC official, can sell to tourists and make their own money, noting that it was an initiative to alleviate poverty.

He said agriculture is still a major occupation in some counties of Liupanshui city as they produce fruits and vegetables, to eat and to export.

He revealed that sorghum is highly produced in some counties and they use it to manufactured Baijiu (Chinese liquor), which is largely produced in Liupanshui and its counties. 


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