Chen Suhou: From vice governor to farmer
By Jessie Tao (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2005-12-29 14:58
He used to be a top official in South China's Hainan Province, but chose to
be a farmer with his wife after retirement, determined to do something for the
farmers back in his hometown, instead of enjoying a comfortable and peaceful
urban life. He is Chen Suhou, retiring as vice dean of Hainan Provincial
People's Congress and now a contented farmer.
|Chen Suhou is very
contented with being a farmer in his hometown after retiring as vice dean
of Hainan Provincial People's Congress. [Xinhua]
Chen's hometown -- Nanbao Town of Lingao County in Hainan -- was a widely
known poor area when Chen arrived there upon his retirement in 2003. As a local
saying went, "Never marry your daughter to Songhai Village." However, the scene
is greatly different three years later, with the saying now, "Do marry your
daughter to Songhai Village." How was the 70-year-old man able to change the
fate of a poverty-stricken village? The answer lies as follows:
"I am a farmer too!"
Though a highly accomplished official, Chen has never forgotten his "farmer"
identity, writing in his book Farmers and I, "I myself am a farmer too."
According to Chen, his heartfelt sympathy for farmers is partially based on
his childhood experience. When he was still a small child, his family was forced
to leave their native place, and lived in a farmer's bullpen in a neighboring
county for three years, during which he learned to plough, furrow, reap, and
transplant rice seedlings, savoring the hardships and pleasures of being a
Since then, Chen has involved himself with farming matters, speaking for
farmers wherever and whenever he can.
For example, in 1999, the Hainan provincial government mandated a 3-yuan
movie for every farmer per year. Though a small amount, the charge gave rise to
fierce disputes among farmers. Upon knowing this, Chen Suhou, then deputy
provincial governor, wrote to the governor, saying it was against the Central
Government's prescription on reducing farmers' burden. He suggested the charge
be lifted. In the end, the governor repealed the regulation, well protecting