By Ou Can, Li Jianwen and Qian Zongyang
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] On February 13, 2015, President Xi Jinping flew from Beijing to Yan’an City, northwest China's Shaanxi province. The minute he got off the plane, he went to Liangjiahe Village of Yanchuan County, where he had lived and worked for seven years from 1969 as an educated urban youth to experience life by working in rural areas. In the village, President Xi visited his fellow countrymen and had a field investigation of the poverty alleviation work in the old revolutionary base area.
True affection is the “golden hoe” that pierces the barren land.
On September 22, 2015, President Xi Jinping attended a welcome banquet co-hosted by the State of Washington government and local friendly groups in Seattle, the United States. When delivering a speech at the banquet, President Xi said with sincere feelings that when he acted as the Party Secretary of the CPC Branch of the Liangjiahe Village, what he wanted to do the most was “ to offer the villagers a good treat of meat and make meat a regular dish at their dinner table. ”
From “to offer the villagers a good treat of meat” to “ensuring people in the old revolutionary base areas will enter the moderately prosperous society together with the rest of the country", President Xi has always cared about the people in old revolutionary base areas.
Surrounded by rolling mountains, the Huangjia Geta village in the Yanchuan County, Yan’an City features limited arable land, high mountains, and steep slopes. There was no machinery on the farm – everything is done manually, and the village lacked laborers as most of the left-behind villagers were elders and children.
In August 2016, the PLA Air Force headquarters set up a poverty alleviation working team to carry out targeted pairing assistance to the Huangjia Geta Village. Since then, the small village on the loess plateau has blazed a trail to prosperity in the next four years or so.
With the finaical assistance from the Air Force headquarters, the village built 231 high-quality greenhouses to develop fruit and vegetable planting industry.
Over the past few years, more villagers have joined greenhouse planting, growing fruits in spring and vegetables in autumn.
In 2016, the villager Gao Cheng’s son died from illness, and his daughter-in-law remarried to another place, leaving him more than RMB200,000 debts in medical expenses. “The Air Force poverty alleviation working team came and built seven greenhouses for me. Depending on selling fruits and vegetables growing in the greenhouses, I paid off all the debts two years later and bought a minivan last year,” said Gao Cheng, who has become a leading person in anti-poverty efforts in the village now. “In the past, this wouldn’t happen in my wildest dreams,” Gao added.
Gao Cheng, a farmer in the Huangjia Geta Village smiles heartily when seeing a bumper harvest of vegetables in his greenhouses in the summer of 2020. (PLA Daily/Zhao Xiaoman)