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Korean autonomous prefecture witnesses prosperity

China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-06 09:20
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Farmers in Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture, Jilin province, celebrate the rice harvest on the paddy field. [Photo provided to China Daily]

CHANGCHUN-Yanbian in Jilin province, the only autonomous prefecture of China's Korean ethnic group, 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 prefecture has witnessed rapid economic development, ethnic unity, social stability, remarkable improvement in people's living standards, a complete victory in poverty alleviation, and all-around progress in various undertakings since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, said the letter.

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

"Seven decades on, Yanbian has changed a lot," An said, standing on the clean street decorated with floral displays.

"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 cast off poverty at the end of 2020.

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

Yanbian has developed many characteristic industries according to its local conditions. Locals plant high-quality rice and operate tourism-related businesses to increase their incomes. 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 performed by a singer and a drummer, put on a show at the celebration. "I hope to continue to promote the traditional culture," said Cui.


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