East China's long march out of poverty

Adam Hegarty(chinadaily.com.cn) | Updated: 2016-08-25 09:40

East China's long march out of poverty

Yang Lanying, 56, works at the farm on the outskirts of Jiecunxiang, Xingguo county, Jiangxi province. [Photo by Adam Hegarty/chinadaily.com.cn]

Wanna a free Kindle? Take this Long March quiz.

Nine months ago, 56-year-old farmer Yang Lanying's family was earning no more than 2,000 yuan a year - the equivalent of just $300.

In her own words, she "just survived", selling produce from her tiny rice farm in Jiecunxiang, Xingguo county - in east China's Jiangxi province.

Now, she earns that same amount every month. It's still not great, but it's a life-changing improvement.

"I'm still the poorest in my village, but now I feel much better than before," she told China Daily. "I just need to work harder."

In September, local government officials constructed a farming greenhouse on the outskirts of Yang's village, as part of President Xi Jinping's anti-poverty drive in the region. They began employing Yang, and others.

Yang - a mother of two, who helps support her grandchildren - is now paid 60 yuan a day. It's not as much as the 80 yuan given to her male colleagues, but it's far more than that earned by the estimated 50,000 other Xingguo villagers who local officials have declared are living below the poverty line - earning less than 2,300 yuan a year.

It's a symbolic number. Eighty years ago, 50,000 Red Army soldiers were killed near this region … ambushed during the early days of the Communist forces' Long March trek which eventually laid an important foundation for the Communist victory in the civil war. In many ways, a battle continues - against poverty.

"My husband is sick and he can't do anything," Yang said. "The medical care was not very good, but now my husband can get support … we can see a doctor. "Before I had no money to buy anything. Now I can buy a television."

Yang's story isn't an isolated one among the almost 40 million Chinese people living in the wide-reaching Jiangxi province. Two hours south, in Yudu county, locals still need to take out personal loans to live in government-funded, high-rise affordable housing villages.

Previous Page 1 2 3 4 Next Page


Copyright 1995 - 2016 . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349