By Liu Jianwei
Editor's Note: This is one of the heartwarming stories from China in this new era. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President Xi Jinping, who cares for the ordinary people, has visited poverty-stricken regions many times to bring solutions to the challenges and obstacles hindering poverty reduction. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has considered its participation in poverty alleviation a concrete move to translate its loyalty to the Party into practical actions. With a strong sense of mission, the whole army is fulfilling its commitment to share the Party’s burdens and strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the benefit of the people.
[Playback] During his inspection tour to Huamao Village in Fengxiang Town, Zunyi County, Guizhou Province, on June 16, 2015, President Xi Jinping said, “a criterion to judge whether a policy put forward by the CPC Central Committee is good or not is whether it makes the people smile or weep. If it makes the people smile, the policy should be stuck to; but if it makes the people weep, the policy should be improved and adjusted.”
With the help of military and civil departments, including the Political Work Department of Central Military Commission (CMC), all Hongxin Village residents of Pingzheng Gelao Township in Bozhou District, Zunyi City, Guizhou Province, have been lifted out of poverty. In 2020, the village was rated as a “Model Village in Rural Revitalization” in Bozhou District.
Preferential Policies Help Improve People’s Wellbeing
As aA mountainous village, Hongxin suffers severe desertification and its, with infertile land was difficult to sustain crops. After the Political Work Department of CMC undertook the task to help the village in poverty alleviation, it has sent many officials to conduct all-round assistances in infrastructure, industrial projects, education, and cultural programs, etc. Since then, the mountainous village has taken a new look.
Pan Benxi, a resident in the village, went into debt for medical expenses. Those years, he felt helpless and never expected that the life of his family could get better so quickly. The poverty alleviation working team helped Pan apply for major illness cooperative medical insurance, enabling him to no longer worry about medical expenses. The team also provided free plum seedlings for villagers and encouraged them to plant fruit treesengage in fruit planting. Those measures helped local villagers including Pan gradually increase incomes.
In recent years, good things have happened one after another for Pan: hHis family built a two-story house, his eldest son bought a new apartment in town, his younger son bought a car, and his daughter gave birth to a chubby baby boy.…A smile creeps upon his face every day. “The Party, government, and military care us so much, and we need to work harder to lead a better life,” Pan said.
Tian Yi, a 50-year-old poor villager, feels the same. Suffering minor physical disability, he made a living by working as a migrant worker. After learning that Tian once worked as a chef, poverty alleviation officials helped him apply for a 3-year interest-free loan and encouraged Tian and his brother to open a rural restaurant. Starting up his own business made Tian’s life has been constantly improved. Last year he bought a car. On the first day he drove his new carthe vehicle, Tian said excitedly, “I had never thought that I could own a car. I must thank the CPC Central Committee and President Xi.”
Zhang Fajiang, a resident in Hongxin Village, once felt squeezed as he has three children at school, and his wife is sick, trapping the family in poverty. Learning about his family’s difficulties, poverty alleviation officials from the Political Work Department of CMC helped his children get poverty relief allowances for education, solving their most urgent problem. Then, they helped the family renovate their house and plant plums. Later, Zhang’s oldest daughter was enrolled in college, and the family’s life has constantly improved.
The Political Work Department of CMC invested 100,000 yuan in holding the Torch Festival, a cultural event with an ethnic flavor. In the beginning, villagers didn’t understand why to have such an event without instant economic returns. However, they began to benefit from it soon. The event not only helped boost sales of local plums but also spread the reputation of the village’s tourism resources. Thanks to the event, each household in the village saw their income from rural travel and agricultural product sales increased by 1,000 yuan on average.
Over the years, the Political Work Department of CMC helped the village’s primary school build a library and a computer room. Moreover, it set up the “Happy Learning” scholarship to promote national defense education and organized summer camps and other practice programs for local students and teachers to help them expand their vision and aim high. “With great foresight, Tthe poverty alleviation program of the PLA even takes into account our next generation. It is ,so farsighted” said a local villager.
Poverty Alleviation Depends on the People