Rural areas reap benefits of vitalization

By SUN SHANGWU and YANG ZEKUN in Huichang, Jiangxi | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-08 08:00
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A bird's-eye view of Huichang, where a rural vitalization base was established in Xijiang township in 2017 to promote economic development. [Photo/China Daily]

Strategy helps secure jobs and integrate industrial development

After giving birth to her second child in late 2013, Liang Lijing didn't take a job in her hometown until 2019, when she started work at a company making sneakers at a rural vitalization industrial base, earning a good salary to support her family.

Liang, 36, a native of Xijiang township, Jiangxi province, worked in Guangdong province for seven years, before returning home in 2013 when she became pregnant. After having her second child, she decided to take care of her offspring at home.

"I could not find a proper job to support my family. I once grew rice, looked after orchards for others, and worked as a supermarket saleswoman, but the pay was low. The burden of supporting our family fell on my husband, who worked in the household decorating industry," she said.

To promote the township's economic development, Xijiang, in Huichang county, established the rural vitalization industrial base in 2017, for which funds totaling 65 million yuan ($9.7 million) were raised by villages under the township's jurisdiction.

Initiated by President Xi Jinping in October 2017, the rural vitalization strategy has been highly emphasized by governments at all levels. In February, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, the nation's Cabinet, released a guideline to advance the strategy.

Local governments were told to continue promoting the integrated development of primary, secondary and tertiary industries in rural areas. They are tasked with vigorously developing industries at county level that have obvious advantages and can drive agriculture in rural areas and create a large number of jobs, according to the guideline.

County governments should speed up improvements to industrial services and promote enterprises based in industrial parks, making leading companies stronger. They should also guide qualified towns in developing specialized clusters of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the guideline stated.

After her family struggled for several years, Liang joined the sneakers manufacturer in Xijiang after companies at the industrial base began recruiting staff members. The company gives its employees a basic salary rise every year and pays them based on piecework.

Liang earns 4,500 yuan a month, which is a good salary in the county. Most of the company's workers are women who used to be in a similar situation to her.

"The boss takes good care of us and understands the difficulties of middle-aged women in rural areas who need to look after their children and support their families. The company pays us a relatively high salary and has a relaxed time management structure, which allows us to balance work and life," Liang said.

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