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Xi letter encourages woman to invest in home village

By MA ZHENHUAN, WANG LIANQING and LUO YU in Yuyao, Zhejiang | China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-24 07:34
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He Dafeng attends to his orchard in Hengkantou village in Yuyao, Zhejiang province. WANG LIANQING/CHINA DAILY

A letter from President Xi Jinping encouraged Huang Xujie, 30, to return to her home village of Hengkantou, in Yuyao, Zhejiang province, and open a guesthouse that is benefiting her fellow villagers.

Huang, who obtained a master's degree in business administration in Germany, returned to Yuyao in 2015 and launched three successful restaurants in the city.

In February 2018, in a reply letter to Party members in Hengkantou, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, encouraged them to play prominent and exemplary roles, and urged villagers and Party organizations to play a part in building beautiful villages.

Party organizations must work with firm resolve, and Party members must always hold themselves to the highest standards in a bid to handle rural affairs and pursue rural vitalization, Xi wrote.

Xi visited the village in 2003, and in the letter he said he was pleased to learn it had developed into a well-off and civilized place, and that people's livelihoods had improved because of the hard work of the villagers and the leadership of grassroots village organizations.

The letter greatly inspired Huang and she invested 1.3 million yuan ($188,000) in 2018 to open a guesthouse in the village that employs more than 10 villagers.

With more tourists coming to visit Hengkantou, a model of rural revitalization, she had to expand the guesthouse to three stories to cater to the growing influx.

"Now I've completely changed my previous mindset of seeking success in big cities," said Huang, a Party member. "There is so much potential to tap in rural tourism in my village." More than 20 young people have returned to their home village of Hengkantou to seek new lives.

The village has turned into a must-visit tourist attraction thanks to its beautiful rural landscape, with over 700,000 visitors last year.

In 2003, the village's annual per capita income was 2,700 yuan. Last year, it was more than 36,000 yuan. "We hope to turn the village into a model for leisure travel and red culture tourism, and have spared no efforts in improving the basic infrastructure and ecological system surrounding the village since 2018," said Cheng Canlin, the village head.

He Dafeng, 45, returned to the village in 2015 and has rented a 10-hectare orchard where tourists can pick fruits such as cherries, kiwi fruit and waxberry.

"My orchard is expected be filled with around 500 tourists a day during the picking period this year, as fruits such as kiwi and cherries are sweeter and taste smoother because of the green natural surroundings here," he said.

"With the nation putting more emphasis on rural revitalization, more farmers benefit from this strategy and lead a well-off life as green organic farming products are getting more and more popular in urban residents' daily diet."

He said technicians from the agricultural bureaus in Ningbo and Yuyao had played a vital role in helping farmers introduce organic farming and appropriate fruit varieties to help them thrive.

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