A Spring Festival trip to mountain villages

(Xinhua) 08:57, January 30, 2022

TAIYUAN, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- A few days ahead of the Spring Festival, Shi Hongbing and his family were preparing dough and dried jujubes to make "Nianmo," a type of local steamed food that carries blessings for the lunar new year.

President Xi Jinping, who was visiting their village in north China's Shanxi Province, on Wednesday afternoon joined them in their new house.

Shi's home was rebuilt after severe floods lashed Shanxi last October. "Though the new house cost about 100,000 yuan (15,700 U.S. dollars), nearly 90 percent was subsidized by the government and other parties," Shi told Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

In Shi's storeroom and kitchen, Xi was shown the family's food stock specially prepared for the Spring Festival that falls on Feb. 1, such as turnip, pork and apples.

"You are so well-prepared for the festival," Xi said with a smile.

Shi's family was among over 2.4 million people affected by the floods. Many houses in Fengnanyuan Village, where the family lives, were damaged.

To learn how the local people are recovering from the disaster was one of the main reasons behind Xi's inspection this time. "I came to Shanxi primarily out of the concern for people whose work and lives were affected by last year's disaster," he told villagers.

Walking around the village in the snow, Xi was briefed on the reconstruction. "Have the damaged houses been repaired? How is the replanting of winter wheat?" He asked.

Local officials told Xi that all the 50,000-plus dilapidated houses in Shanxi have been renovated, and the area with winter wheat even increased.

"I am glad to observe that despite the severity of the disaster, you did a good job in reconstruction and replanting crops with the help of the Party and government," Xi told the villagers. "I feel assured."

Xi attaches great importance to people's livelihood.

After assuming the post of the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in late 2012, Xi had been to villages across the country to inspect poverty relief efforts.

In 2021, China announced the elimination of absolute poverty. After eight years of efforts, nearly 100 million impoverished rural residents living below the current poverty line had shaken off poverty.

For Shanxi, what Xi cares about is not only the post-disaster reconstruction but also how to consolidate the achievements of poverty eradication and advance rural vitalization.

In another village during his Shanxi trip, Xi was received by villager Cai Wenming. The 61-year-old is now an expert in raising goats. Thanks to financial support from the government, Cai gradually expanded his farming scale and finally led his family out of poverty in 2016.

While chatting with Cai's family, Xi asked about their husbandry earnings and livelihood.

"It is quite good, and we earned a net income of more than 40,000 yuan last year," Cai answered.

Xi was impressed by the improvements of Cai's life as well as the great changes taking place across rural China.

"The rural areas have completely changed," Xi said, noting that rural residents today enjoy a much better life.

Such concern about people's lives has shone through Xi's every inspection tour ahead of the Spring Festival over the past 10 years, be it in ethnic minority villages or courtyards in Beijing's hutong.

"The CPC is in pursuit of serving the people and making people's lives better and better," Xi said. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


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