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Bashang Village: Alleviating Poverty through Red Tourism

China Today,September 14, 2018 Adjust font size:

Passing on the Red Gene

The Jinggang Mountain, with its splendid revolutionary history, serves as a massive classroom and base for education in the Party spirit, ideals, beliefs, revolutionary tradition, and patriotism.

Li Zufang, 61, is the grandson of the Red Army martyr Li Xiaofu. He was head of a production team at the age of 21. In 1987, he joined the Party and served as secretary of the village Party branch. Li tells the revolution’s stories brimming with emotion, sings Red Army songs from time to time, and has become the most popular teacher at the Jinggangshan “red” training base. He told the students, “We should never forget what today’s life is based upon, and pass on the ‘red genes’.”

“This is how a stretcher is made...” Li instructed the students who participated in the “A Day in the Red Army” program. He took bamboo sticks and hemp ropes, and demonstrated how to make the stretcher with great skill. In Li’s opinion, letting young people experience the life of the Red Army is the duty and responsibility for a Red Army’s descendent. Nowadays, he wants more than teaching at Bashang Village. He wants to spread the stories of the Red Army and the Jinggangshan spirit outside the mountains. In fact, Li has already brought the stories to other parts of the country. In November 2017, he went to South China Normal University to spread the “red gene.” And this year, Li was hired as a social practice teacher at the Graduate School of Capital Normal University.

“Those who have heard my lectures have invited me to give further lectures. My audience have probably reached 300,000 in number,” Li said. His lectures kept him so busy that he frequently skipped lunch. And once he had to participate in more than 180 group photos in a day.

In the past, Li used to earn a monthly income of about RMB 1,000 by working away from the village and farming. Since he participated in the village’s poverty alleviation project in 2016, his yearly income has steadily increased. “This year’s income will probably reach RMB 50,000. Last year I made RMB 30,000,” Li said with satisfaction.

At the beginning of the poverty alleviation operation, Bashang Village had 36 poverty-stricken households, with a total population of 92. By 2017, only one household remained in poverty in the entire village.

In the future, life in Bashang Village will be even more prosperous. This is because Maoping Township, where the village is located, is implementing a development strategy that promotes tourism in the entire area, entrepreneurship for everyone, a beautiful environment, and moderate prosperity in an all-round way. The township aims at becoming the most beautiful “red town,” and focuses on building a landscape belt for ecotourism, an experience zone for red training, and a resort for relaxation and holidays. The red training experience zone at Bashang Village is already listed for planning.  

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