Wang Hongbin: Monitor of Nanjie village

By Li Zheng
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 8, 2011
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There is a village called Nanjie in Linying, Henan Province. Covering an area of 1.78 square kilometers, its assets are worth 1.4 billion yuan. Nanjie is a completely socialist village with no private property. It is a community based on pure Maoism. People there view Lei Feng as the model. Revolutionary songs have many followers there.

These have been attributed to Wang Hongbin, the leader of the village.

Wang Hongbin was born in Nanjie in February 1951. At that time, Nanjie was notorious for its underdevelopment, earning the nickname "needy village." When Wang was young, he was a bit headstrong. No matter how persuasive or violent his parents were, he would still insist on having his way.

As Wang was finishing elementary school, Chairman Mao called on youth to get reeducation in the countryside. Wang dropped out. Young and scrawny, he was assigned to watching over the crops. During his spare time, he made mats out of straws and won people's popularity.

At 17, due to his meticulousness, conscientiousness and impartiality, Wang was elected production team leader. The very day Wang took his post, his mother and sister were late for work. Wang punished them. Wang won a good reputation and became famous in the county. Two years later, his father found him a post in town, a mouth-watering chance in the days of the planned economy. Unfamiliar with and uninterested in the work, Wang quit and returned to his former post. Thinking he was a good for nothing, his parents turned up their noses at him.

In 1977 and 1978, the yields of crops and tobacco per mu in Nanjie were the best in Linying. However, people's living standard didn't improve much. After visiting a well-to-do neighboring village, Wang found the answer in industry. He made a 30,000-yuan collection and set up a flour factory. He later sold the flour to Beijing. Gradually, living standards in Nanjie improved.

One time, Wang noticed that people swarmed to town to buy bricks. Construction was in its hey day. Wang hit on the idea of establishing a brick factory. But the villagers hesitated. In all, more than 300,000 yuan of start-up capital was needed. Wang successively collected the money by selling brick orders in advance. A brick factory was set up and went into production shortly thereafter.

While the factory brought the village money, it also made it dirty and dusty. Accidents happened. The residents began to complain that Wang cared too much about profit and not enough about the people.

Wang decided to build welfare projects to ride out of the crisis. Again, people hesitated. Pushing aside all the obstacles and difficulties, Wang won people's support and trust again.

When it came to 1981, the system of output-related responsibility was applied nationwide. All community property was divvied up. Wang opposed the policy, and he was greatly disappointed to be totally ignored. Nevertheless, he never lost heart and has always served by example.

Living near town, the villagers would rather do business rather than do farm work. Much of the fertile land was wasted. The factories were run under contracts. But the contract system didn't work very well, because some of the contractors refused to pay. Wang ended the contracts and ran the factories personally. He also had the abandoned farmland cultivated collectively. More than one decade later, Wang made a one-billion-asset corporation out of the village-owned factories. Communism was Wang's final goal. The guideline of "low pay and high welfare" was applied. The village gradually monopolized everything for the residents, from dining to clothing, from birth to death.

Nanjie takes on a new look nowadays. People's memories easily flow back to the old days when communism was the utmost pursuit. After work, people rush to the dining hall with rice basins in hands. With the revolutionary songs broadcasted, people walk and talk passionately. Some pop songs are also played.

Nanjie has no crime. People don't lock their doors at night. Everyone is so well-educated that they do all they can for the sake of their community.

Town hall meetings take place every weekend. Besides self-reporting and political education, criticism and self-criticism are also involved, which are always sharp and aggressive. Wang's own flaws are also pointed out at the meetings. After residents complained at meetings, Wang quit his habit of driving drunk. He also criticizes himself at the meeting.

In contemporary society, many earn money with underhanded tricks and by cutting corners. But Nanjie set a new model. Wang suggests combining flexibility and self-discipline to adapt to the new economy. Any gifts must be handed over to the village.

Nanjie's development model aroused great curiosity. Some savvy businessmen made the village a tourist attraction, which again inspired Wang, who began to develop tourism in Nanjie. A tropical sightseeing park was built. A theme park was also built in memory of the revolutionary era. Tourists come to Nanjie to visit the new socialist countryside and take a nostalgic look back at "Red Culture." This is Nanjie under the leadership of Wang Hongbin.

When it comes to who the villagers do all this for, the answers vary. Wang thinks that few Party members act for themselves, but rather for the community and the nation. They try to sweep negativity, decadence and superstition. Outsiders think that Nanjie's success is due to hard work, but Wang says the answer lies in political education. People hold a bi-weekly get-together discussing Maoism and singing red songs. Wang, 52, has been awarded many prizes and is still walking with the villages on the road to further prosperity.

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