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Community paves way to better life

By WU YONG in Shenyang | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-06-09 07:51
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Mudan's complete infrastructure makeover sets example for grassroots governance

Editor's note: The Communist Party of China Central Committee, with General Secretary Xi Jinping at the core, has led the whole nation to achieve great progress in all aspects. China Daily Global Edition is publishing a series of articles taking a look at the changes over the past decade.

Residents attend an ethnic dance class at Mudan community in Shenyang, Liaoning province in April 2023. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Li Shui and his wife, Zhang Yunxiu, have had a love-hate relationship over the years with Mudan community in Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province.

The couple had lived in the community since 1991 before moving out in 2008 because of the community's poor heating and plumbing systems at the time.

When the Mudan community was built in the 1980s, most of the residents were employees of Shenyang Aircraft Corp.

Over the decades, makeshift buildings erected by some residents, along with Mudan's narrow, bumpy roads, turned the community into an increasingly less habitable place.

What's more, huge amounts of trash that had piled up in the community due to the lack of a proper trash removal service had to be removed when a renovation project was launched in 2019, according to Wang Hui, a community official.

With upgraded infrastructure in place — walls were repainted, for example, and manhole covers were replaced and new drainage and gas pipes installed — the community now sets an example for grassroots governance, Wang said.

Several years ago, Li and Zhang decided to move back to the community.

The news that Mudan community has taken on an entirely new look has also caught the attention of the central government.

President's visit

On Aug 17 last year, President Xi Jinping visited the community and viewed facilities that were designed for the elderly as well as for child care or amusement purposes.

Li and Zhang's apartment was among the homes of local people that Xi visited.

Xi "was so amiable that he was like a relative of ours. What he cares about are the things related to ordinary people," said Li, who is 78.

"We showed him around the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. He then sat down in our living room and talked with us," Li said. "He asked about our health and living conditions."

Zhang, Li's wife, told Xi that the living environment of the community has greatly improved as a result of the renovations. Their home is much warmer in winter, and there are no more muddy puddles on the roads, thanks to the community's newly paved roads.

Now the community doesn't have "to worry about children's education or basic medical care for the elderly, and the friendly neighborhood is just like a big family," said Zhang, who added that the community's 10,000 residents from more than 3,000 households get along well.

Zhang said that upon learning that they are living a happy and hopeful life, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, was very gratified.

Bidding farewell to the residents of Mudan community, Xi pointed out that as a major aspect of the action plan for urban renewal, renovation of old residential communities is important work that enhances people's sense of gain.

Making lives safer

The president also said the aim is to serve the people and make their lives safer and more convenient. More efforts should be made to further improve the living environment, upgrade facilities and improve the supply of water, electricity and gas, in order to better meet residents' daily needs and ensure their security, Xi added.

In addition, community services should be improved, and communities' ability to provide good services should be strengthened, Xi said.

With China becoming a rapidly aging society, Xi emphasized the importance of developing programs for seniors as well as related industries, and stressed that improvements should be made to facilities for elderly care.

The greatly improved community of Mudan is considered a microcosm of the progress that China has made through its efforts to improve people's well-being.

At a work conference in Beijing in January, Ni Hong, minister of housing and urban-rural development, announced that China will begin renovating more than 53,000 old urban residential communities this year, which is 2,000 more than last year, in an attempt to make cities more livable.

In the past 10 years, China has renovated 163,000 old urban residential communities, benefiting more than 28 million households.

A total of 185,000 kilometers of aging water pipes, cable and gas pipes have been upgraded across the country, and around 36,000 community-based elderly care, child care and other service facilities have been built, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Bringing benefits to the people is the fundamental principle of governance, President Xi has said, adding that working for the people's well-being is an essential part of the Party's commitment to serving the public good and exercising governance for the people.


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