Better internet needed in remote rural areas

By Xu Bei & Pan Xiaoqiao
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Beijing Review, March 5, 2019
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Yu Liufen, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, spoke about the need to improve Internet connection and related services in rural areas, especially villages in mountains, at the second session of 13th CPPCC National Committee that opened in Beijing on March 3. 

Yu liufen answers questions from journalists at the Great Hall of the People before the opening meeting of the second session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee on March 3. [Photo/Beijing Review]

"While big cities are embracing 5G technology, in some rural areas, like my village, even 2G coverage is still patchy and mobile network often intermittent," said Yu, Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) branch in Yanbo, a village in Liupanshui City, southwest China's Guizhou Province.  

"In our village, only the areas where the village committee office and a local distillery are located have access to 4G Internet," she said. "I've found a lot of young people hanging outside the distillery even during the cold nights to get connected with the 4G Internet." 

She also spoke of young mothers in her village who are keen to run online shops so that they can both take care of their families and earn money. "But their dreams cannot be realized because of the poor Internet connection," she said. "If they could sell local specialties online, they would live a better life." 

For nearly two decades, she has been helping Yanbo residents rise from poverty by developing the local economy. She encouraged them to build roads to make the village better connected, reportedly providing 40,000 yuan ($5,964) of her own money.  

Under her initiative, the village has developed a forest farm and built a brick factory. She also encouraged villagers to start poultry production and set up a livestock farm. Then came the distillery, which makes liquors using the traditional methods of the local Yi ethnic group. In 2013, the thriving distillery became a limited liability company with the villagers as shareholders. 

Yu's dedication has received wide attention. She was elected to the National Congress of the CPC as a delegate three times. She was among the 100 Chinese who were awarded the reform pioneer medal at an event held in December 2018 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up. 

"My biggest advantage as a CPPCC member is that I know the rural areas since I live there. I can talk about the real situation of rural people at the CPPCC meetings, so that more people get to know about villagers' lives and the crux of villagers' problems can be pinpointed," Yu told Beijing Review. 

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