Laotian village heads learn a lot from trip to Yunnan

By LI YINGQING in Kunming and XIN WEN in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-20 07:28
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Students from Laos prepare to board the Lancang bullet train at the newly built station on the China-Laos Railway in Vientiane, capital of Laos, on June 21. KAI QIAO/XINHUA

Visitors experience nation's efforts to alleviate poverty, revitalize rural areas

Southwest China's Yunnan province is famous for its all-season blooming flowers, tea leaves picked by hand on mountain slopes and people from ethnic groups dressed in traditional clothing.

Yunnan has now gained more significance as the newly built China-Laos Railway connects it with Luang Namtha, a province in northern Laos that features a similar climate, ethnic customs and culinary culture.

It has also become a magnet for Laotians who wish to experience the ecological, economic and tourism development in the province.

In May, a group of 10 Laotian village chiefs from Luang Namtha made a train journey to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan. Tong Xoc Piewmeu, 30, one of the 10 village heads, said that during the fact-finding trip, he focused on rice planting.

"In Laos, many villagers face financial constraints, and under the current economic situation, we are only allowed to engage in small-scale farming. Otherwise, we have to seek employment away from our villages," said Piewmeu, who has been a village chief for 10 years.

"I hope that in the near future, we can try planting rice in our village to help local people benefit more from cultivation," he added.

From May 15 to 19, Piewmeu took part in a training class in Kunming designed for the village heads. They learned about modern agricultural cultivation techniques, the development of traditional Chinese medicine, China's experiences in alleviating poverty, and measures to revitalize rural areas by promoting tourism and healthcare.

The first stop on the visit was the Lancang-Mekong International Vocational Institute at Yunnan Minzu University in Chenggong district, Kunming. The visitors attended a two-hour class taken by Yin Xiaoying, an associate professor at the university specializing in industrial integration.

In addition to the friendliness of the Laotians, Yin was impressed by their desire and passion for economic development and their specific interest in understanding the policies and measures implemented by the Chinese government for poverty alleviation and rural revitalization.

Yin said, "As far as I know, these village chiefs from the border area between China and Laos, especially those near the crossing points, proposed coming to Yunnan to learn and exchange ideas.

"To my surprise, they were enthusiastic during and after the class. They asked many questions and were fully engaged throughout the session."

Yin instructed the visitors on development of the walnut industry in Yangbi Yi autonomous county, Dali Bai autonomous prefecture, Yunnan. They were also told how the province has improved industrial, production and operational systems in the agricultural sector.

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