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Fujian-Ningxia partnership reduces poverty and promotes prosperity by Zhao Binyu,September 09, 2020 Adjust font size:


(图文互动)(1)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

Farmers pick mushrooms at a mushroom cultivation demonstration base in Minning town, Ningyong county, Yinchuan city, Ningxia Hui autonomous region. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

In 1972, the impoverished mountainous stretch of land in southern Ningxia Hui autonomous region known as Xihaigu was recognized as one of the most uninhabitable places in the world by the United Nations World Food Programme as a result of the harsh conditions in the area. Significant progress has been made over the years, however, largely thanks to a partnership that the autonomous region has participated in with east China’s Fujian province. In the last 24 years, 11 groups of 183 officials; more than 2,000 volunteer teachers, medical staff, and agricultural experts; and various businesspeople from Fujian have gone to Ningxia to assist in the local poverty reduction endeavors. They come from various backgrounds, are a range of different ages, and have a variety of occupations, but they all have applied their wisdom and diligence to the historic Fujian-Ningxia cooperative poverty eradication partnership.

(图文互动)(2)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

 Photovoltaic greenhouses inMinning’sYuanlong village (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Devotion to poverty alleviation

A strategic plan to promote cooperation between east and west China was created at the Central Conference on Poverty Alleviation and Development in September 1996, and Fujian was designated to assisting Ningxia with poverty reduction. Groups of compassionate Fujian residents began traveling to the autonomous region to help with poverty relief, and the two have had an indissoluble bond with each other ever since.

Lin Yuechan, former deputy director of the Minning Poverty Alleviation Office, has been to Ningxia more than 40 times and has participated in many poverty reduction projects, such as helping people relocate to more prosperous areas, introducing greater investment to the area, and building schools.

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A street in Minning town (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Xihaigu’s farmers will never forget Professor Lin Zhanxi, director of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University’s JUNCAO Research Institute. He traveled to Ningxia in 1997 with six boxes of mushroom spores in order to share various cultivation techniques and technologies with local impoverished residents. The same kinds of mushrooms that helped farmers become prosperous in northern Fujian’s Wuyi mountains region are now growing vigorously in the Liupan mountains area, which has made it possible for the people who have participated in the industry to escape from poverty and live better lives.(图文互动)(4)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

An aerial view of Yuanlong village, Minning town (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Students in Ningxia’s Longde county will always remember a young woman named Li Dan. She left a teaching position at Fuzhou No. 18 Middle School in Fujian after two years in order to begin working at Longde No. 2 Middle School in the autumn of 2006. Li was her parents’ only child and did not tell them about her plan. She also began traveling through the mountains in order to visit two impoverished students and bring them daily necessities when she lived in Longde. Li later returned to Fujian and was eventually diagnosed with leukemia. She continued to be concerned about the poverty-stricken students that she had been assisting even as she was dying and told her family that they should not waste money on her if she could not be cured but should use it to help poverty-stricken citizens instead.

People such as Lin Yuechan, Lin Zhanxi and Li Dan have demonstrated selflessness, compassion, and generosity and represent the Fujian natives who have devoted themselves to poverty alleviation work in Ningxia.

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 Farmers pick grapes at a vineyard and winery in Yuanlong. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Struggling for a better future

Li Zhongfu is part of the tenth group of officials who went to work in Xihaigu on the poverty reduction purpose. He moved to the area in 2016 with his wife, Chen Ying, who decided to engage in volunteer teaching, and their 11-year-old son. Li promoted Ningxia’s agricultural specialty products in Fujian’s Fuzhou city and helped them become more popular, and his wife instructed impoverished students at Guyuan No. 5 Middle School.(图文互动)(6)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

Luo Xiaobi (first right) sees a doctor at a clinic in Yuanlong (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Tsinghua University doctoral graduate Fan Xueshuang left his hometown in Fujian’s Minhou county, which is one of the 100 most prosperous counties in China, in order to work as an official in Longde, which is recognized as impoverished at the national level. During his term of office there, he initiated a water supply improvement project that helped 45,000 people gain access to clean, healthy drinking water. He also facilitated cooperation between the Beijing Huaxin Hospital, which is the First Affiliated Hospital of Tsinghua University, and Longde County Hospital in order to promote the sharing of high-quality medical resources. He completed his duties in 2018 but was determined to work in the area for two more years and arranged to extend his assignment.

The Fujian-Ningxia partnership has evolved from one-way assistance with poverty alleviation to wide-ranging, comprehensive, multi-level, in-depth cooperation related to economic and social development.

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Yuanlong village’s Yuanlong Primary School (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Many businessmen from Fujian have established undertakings that have helped people in Ningxia and even created a “blood transfusion” development model to help reduce poverty in the autonomous region. Huang Tianjin moved from Fujian to Yinchuan city with 3,000 yuan (US$428) of borrowed money at the age of 18 and eventually became a well-known entrepreneur there. He invested 100 million yuan (US$14.28 million) in the establishment of a modern food processing factory that helped many people escape from poverty and increase their incomes. Zeng Zhongming invested 38 million yuan (US$5.43 million) in mushroom cultivation endeavors, which made it possible for impoverished laborers to find jobs in their local areas. Pan Wenxian created a special customized artificial flower factory that employs near a hundred disabled people in Longde. Now, a total of 5,700 small businesses and large enterprises from Fujian had established a presence in Ningxia, 80,000 people from Fujian were working in the autonomous region, and nearly 50,000 people from Ningxia had gained stable employment in Fujian as of the end of 2019.

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A teacher uses an electronic touchscreen to enhance her lesson with her first grade students at Yuanlong Primary School. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

Commitment to eliminating poverty

The partnership between Fujian and Ningxia has been very fruitful and is very inspiring. Records indicate that more than 20 of the provincial government departments and 80 of the county-level offices in the two have assisted and learned from each other, and that unrelenting poverty alleviation efforts have been made over the past 24 years. One hundred one towns and townships and 110 villages have established partnerships, which has promoted the goal of achieving a moderately prosperous society in all respects. One hundred sixty demonstration villages and 236 new schools and expansion projects have been built in Minning, more than 90,000 impoverished students have been aided, nearly 10,000 teachers have been trained in Ningxia, and 323 health projects have been carried out, such as construction of maternity and childcare centers and medical training centers.

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 First grade students listen to their teacher at Yuanlong Primary School. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

In addition, eco-migration demonstration villages, schools, children's centers, care homes for the elderly, poverty alleviation industrial parks, and other projects have been completed in Minning as a result of such a partnership.

The comprehensive poverty alleviation campaign that is currently underway in Xihaigu represents a historic chapter in a new era as the cooperative arrangement between Fujian and Ningxia continues to evolve.(图文互动)(10)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

First grade students receive a lesson at Yuanlong Primary School. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

(图文互动)(11)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

Longde Artificial Flowers Craft Co. Ltd founder Pan Wenxian (middle front) and employees in Longde county (Xinhua/Wang Peng) 

(图文互动)(12)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

 A view of Minning’s developing new town area (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

(图文互动)(13)山海携手 圆梦小康——记闽宁对口扶贫协作援宁群体

 An aerial view of the Red Army Long March Memorial Pavilion in Longde county’s Liupan mountains region (Xinhua/Wang Peng)


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