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Distinctive projects lift Qingdao’s new area out of poverty,December 28, 2017 Adjust font size:

Through targeted poverty alleviation implemented by the local government, Shi Fajia opened a family hotel to lift himself out of poverty. Meanwhile, he also actively contributed to driving up the income of his fellow villagers by purchasing their dried seafood. / Zangnan Town is developing its industry with a “park + impoverished households” model. The government introduced a modern-agricultural-park project and encourages impoverished households to take part. [Photo by Wang Wenhui]

Located in east China’s Shandong Province, the Qingdao West Coast New Area, established in June 2014 as part of a national-level strategy, is home to a number of major industrial chains. In 2016, with its functional districts flourishing, the area reached a “Shenzhen speed” with its anti-poverty work: All its residents were out of poverty, including 4,278 rural households (7,250 people), 769 urban households (1,271 people), 41 villages, and 5 towns.

Simply moving funds and materials from richer locations to impoverished ones is not a sustainable means to alleviate poverty: More efforts should be focused on industrial development and projects.

Owing 80,000 yuan (U.S. $12,000) in debt, 45-year-old Shi Fajia—who hails from Zhaitangdao Village of the area—fell into poverty as a result of illness. In 2016, taking advantage of local tourism resources and help from governments at village, town, and district levels, Shi developed the local market for “fish feasts” (distinctive banquets featuring specially prepared Shandong seafood delicacies) while also opening a family hotel and selling seafood online, all of which helped him generate more than 130,000 yuan (U.S. $20,000) that same year. Earning a steady income of around 50,000 yuan (U.S. $7,500) annually, he successfully climbed out of poverty. Shi also helped lead more villagers to engage in tourism development. Currently, Zhaitangdao is home to six family hotels, whose annual income reached a million yuan (U.S. $150,000). In total, all of the distinctive projects in the district have lifted 316 people out of poverty. 

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