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Across China: Korean autonomous prefecture witnesses development, ethnic unity

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-09-04 20:24
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CHANGCHUN -- Yanbian, the only autonomous prefecture of China's Korean ethnic group in northeastern Jilin province, celebrated its 70th anniversary on Saturday.

A congratulatory letter on the anniversary was jointly sent by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council.

The autonomous prefecture has witnessed rapid economic development, ethnic unity, social stability, remarkable improvement in people's living standard, a complete victory in poverty alleviation, and all-round progress in various undertakings since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, said the letter.

The prefecture's achievements over the past 70 years fully demonstrate the advantage of the CPC's ethnic policy, it read.

An Jinshu, a 78-year-old citizen of the Korean ethnic group, dressed up in traditional Korean costume early in the morning to attend the celebrations.

"Seven decades on, Yanbian has changed a lot," An said, standing on the tidy and clean street decorated with clusters of flowers amid the colorful landscape.

"When I was young, people lived in adobe houses and walked on muddy roads. It was hard to get adequate food and clothing," An recalled.

However, thanks to China's poverty alleviation project, Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture cast off poverty at the end of 2020.

In 2021, Yanbian's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 80.1 billion yuan (about $11.6 billion), 369 times that of 1952, when the prefecture was established.

So far, Yanbian has developed many characteristic industries according to its local conditions. Locals plant high-quality rice and engage in tourism to increase their incomes. Besides, new industries such as new energy vehicle manufacturing and pharmaceuticals are bringing momentum to the prefecture's development.

Cui Liling, an inheritor of the traditional folk opera "Pansori," which is a genre of musical storytelling, prepared for the performance at the celebration. After decades of development, this ancient art of the Korean ethnic group has its distinctive style.

"I hope to continue to promote the traditional culture," said Cui.

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