Yi ethnic group in southwest China joins national drive for progress

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Beijing Review, September 19, 2020
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An aerial view of Huangcaoping Village, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province in southwest China, on September 2 [Photo/Xinhua]

A Sunday in early fall is a good time for those living in the Mu'endi community to enjoy their new life after their busy relocation here recently. At the Central Square, the community elders can be seen chatting and laughing in the warm sun. Young women sit on the lush green lawns, keeping an eye on their toddlers while embellishing their homemade clothes with the unique embroidery of their community. The only store in the community bustles with boisterous children scrambling to buy lollipops.

Mu'endi is a newly built relocation community in Zhaojue, a county in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province in southwest China. Over 6,000 people who once lived in extreme poverty in deep mountains have been re-billeted here. The relocation is part of the targeted poverty alleviation initiative that started in 2013 to help those living below the national poverty line, equivalent to about 3,218 yuan ($475) annual per-capita income as of the end of 2019, pursue moderate prosperity. Villagers left their dilapidated mud houses in the mountains to move into the new apartments in Mu'endi, paying only a token sum of money. The rest of the cost has been borne by the government.

Liangshan has historically been one of the poorest regions in China. But with the implementation of the targeted poverty alleviation policy, it has made progress by improving housing and transportation and finding jobs for residents to achieve sustainable growth, so that they will not remain dependent on government handouts. The drive has revitalized rural Liangshan.

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