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Three Gorges Migrants Settle in Shanghai

The latest group - the second lot to be moved to the city - had 571 people from 127 families from Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. They arrived in Chongming, an island county of Shanghai at the estuary of the Yangtze River, on Saturday morning.

China will relocate 125,000 people from the dam area between 2000 and 2002, and 5,500 of them will be moved to Shanghai.

More than 10,000 people from Chongqing were successfully resettled last year in Shanghai and elsewhere.

Three other Shanghai counties, Jinshan, Nanhui and Fengxian, will take in a total of 2,400 migrants in the next two weeks.

Shanghai municipal and local governments have arranged to give each family a piece of land and some daily necessities.

A new two-story building is also waiting for them, built with government funding, interest-free loans and the migrants' own money.

"And neighbours have planted crops in the land for the migrants," said Zhang Xiangming, a municipal official in charge of resettling them. "Their first month's food has also been provided."

Many of the 639 people who were moved last year to Shanghai have integrated into the community.

"One migrant woman married a local man last year, and two more couples are engaged," Zhang added.

With the help of the local government, settlers have found their own ways of making a living apart from farming. Raising poultry and making clothes have also brought in some cash.

Zhang said that among the 390 people able to work in the first group of migrants, 118 have found jobs outside of Chongming, and two will go to Mauritius in Africa to work.

"After visiting the migrants, we have found that most have adapted to their new homes in Shanghai," said Guo Xuemei, a migration official from Chongqing municipality.

"We firmly believe that the newcomers will have a bright future," she added.

Another 1,900 migrants from the dam region will settle in Shanghai next year.

(China Daily 07/09/2001)

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