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Party chief transforms his village's prospects

Updated: 2017-10-09

By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing, China Daily

In the past 13 years, village Party chief Xiong Shangbing has transformed his hometown from an impoverished village to a beautiful countryside tourism spot with his innovative ideas and selfless devotion.

"Getting rich is meaningless if you can't help others," he said. "I must lead my fellow villagers in getting rich together."

Party chief transforms his village's prospects

When he was 18, Xiong left his village of Qisheng, in Chongqing's Kaizhou District, to do business in oranges in Shandong, Hubei and Heilongjiang provinces. His talent soon became evident, and he grew wealthy while in his 20s.

When he returned home in 2001, he found the villagers still struggling with poverty. At the invitation of the former village Party chief, Xiong stayed on to help with administrative work in the village, and was elected Party chief, head of the village, in 2004.

The village was at the time the poorest in Changsha. About one-third of the 3,500 villagers lived beneath the poverty line and 90 percent of the young farmers left to work in cities. There was no paved road, and many people lived in dilapidated houses. The shortage of drinking water and electricity was a further difficulty.

"As Party chief, I must find innovative ways to improve the villagers' living and working conditions," he said.

People of the village, in the mountains ranging from 200 to 1000 meters above sea level, planted only oranges and traditional crops like corn and potatoes, which have low economic return.

Xiong not only has a talent for selling agricultural products but is also experienced in fruit planting. After much research, he decided to improve the quality of the local orange and to plant red kiwis as well.

Within several years, the village had a square-kilometer kiwi area that received an award as a national model cooperative.

Encouraged by the success, the village has since built three fruit cooperatives, for oranges, blueberries and green plums.

Poor farmers can join the cooperative and their land provides their shares. Today, the remaining 36 families living under the poverty line have become shareholders in the kiwi and orange cooperatives. Farmers can work for the cooperatives and get at least 1,800 yuan ($274) per month.

Last year, on Oct 16, Xiong received the Innovation Award at the National Poverty Alleviation Awards.

Thanks to the strong agricultural industry and beautiful mountain scenery, the village has become a popular rural tourism destination with new facilities.

In May, Xiong was elected as a delegate to the 19th CPC National Congress.

"I feel more pressure and responsibility after being elected a delegate," he said. "I must continue to make breakthroughs and make Qisheng a nationally famous village by 2020."

 

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