China’s Xinjiang provides focused assistance to areas of extreme poverty

By Jiang Shan, Li Yanan, People’s Daily

Thanks to the unremitting efforts of China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Turghun Rose , a man from a registered poor family in Awati township of Kashgar, Xinjiang, is now securing a stable income working as a forest ranger in the village and running agritainment business under the assistance from local government.

“Turghun comes from a family of four. He gets a 10,000-yuan subsidy by running agritainment business and makes over 10,000 yuan per year as a forest ranger. Besides, he is also gaining extra money by raising poultry in his courtyard,” introduced He Jing, secretary of the party committee of Awati township.

“The annual per capita income of his family has exceeded 5,000 yuan, and he will shake off poverty by the end of the year,” He said.

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Communist Party Committee has been focusing on the areas of extreme poverty and the most vulnerable groups, making targeted policies, promotion and implementation plans.

From 2014 to 2018, a total of 2.31 million people and 13 impoverished counties in the region were lifted out of poverty. The incidence of poverty dropped to 6.1 percent atthe end of last year from 19.4 percentsix years ago.

Kashgar, Hotan, Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture and Aksu Prefecture, four regions in southern Xinjiang, have eliminated poverty for nearly 1.89 million people and 4 impoverished counties.

Relocation of poor population from inhospitable areas achieves remarkable progress

Dure Gharman grew up in a shepherd family in the village of Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, Kashgar. To leave his hometown is a tough decision for him to make. “I grew up in the mountains. My parents are here and so are my cattle and sheep,” said Dure. After several visits to the resettlement areas, he and his wife finally decided to move.

Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County is located in the eastern foothills of the Pamirs highland, with an average elevation of over 4,000 meters. The harsh natural environment and the backward infrastructure such as the poor water and electricity supply make it hard for the county to get rid of poverty.

To address the issues of harsh living conditions and inadequate production materials that caused poverty for the region, the county started a relocation program since 2017. So far, 1,418 residents from 358 households have been resettled.

Dure’s family is one of the 358 households. After the Dure and his family decided to move, the local government bought them a washing machine, a gas stove, and a rice cooker.The government also installed a heating boiler for Dure’s new house and even prepared them beds and curtains.

Living in the 80-square-meter new house, Dure just couldn’t believe that all this has actually happened.

Stepping out of the mountains and saying good bye to the wood stoves, solar panels and water from the river dike, Dure is full of expectations for the future. “My wife now works in a factory that makes handicrafts. We are also planning to open a shop in the future.”

“Relocating the poor is an effective way to help those in poor natural conditionsget rid of poverty. We must choose an appropriate relocation plan for the poverty-stricken households and develop the industries in resettlement areas so that these residents could actually be better off in the new places,” said Wang Fuyou, secretary of the party committee in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County.

Industrial development drives continuous growth of incomes for poverty-stricken families

“Last September, a fellow villager of mine introduced me to this pigeon farm. I worked here as a pigeon feeder and dustman. Now I’m in charge of a cooperative and earn over 2,500 yuan a month,” said a 35-year-old Uyghur villager named Mehmet Azizi from Lop county, Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He is very satisfied with his current status.

The cooperative that Mehmet runs is a subordinate of a Lop-based pigeon-breeding company that is established with capital aid from Beijing and a poverty-relief fund. Thanks to its cooperation with a leading enterprise in the industry, the company has constantly increased income for impoverished families and offered stable income for local farmers.

Establishing a pigeon breeding base, the pigeon company has expanded its business to impoverished counties, townships and villages, introduced Ren Xuexian, director of a supply and marketing cooperative in Lop county.

According to Ren, the pigeon company has established 21 sub-branches in impoverished villages that raise over 5,000 pairs of pigeons each. It has also set up 23 breeding teams that raise over 1,000 pairs each.

The company has formed an integrated system of pigeon industry that bases on large-scale operation and creates profits for all of its members, said Chen, adding that it has helped increase income for 7,730 impoverished people.

Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture is one of the contiguous poverty-stricken areas in China, and it’s extremely difficult for local farmers and herdsmen to increase income. Relying on development-oriented poverty alleviation, Hotan introduced labor-intensive businesses and bred species that are capable of enduring drought. It has nurtured a mature industrial system, and successfully increased income for local residents.

Happiness is created from hardwork. In the course of poverty alleviation, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region will not give up on any village, family, or individual, and will spare no efforts to realize the dream for a better life of the impoverished people.

Women harvest almonds in Kuqa county, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, June 16, 2019. The county has developed an almond industry chain that has become a major source of income for local farmers. By Yuan Huanhuan, People’s Daily

An employee of Uygur ethnic group works at a factory of an electric appliance company in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, June 8, 2019. By Yu Liudong, People’s Daily

Women of Uygur ethnic group work at a workshop of a clothing factory in a village of Aksu prefecture, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, May 10, 2019. The average monthly income of the workers at the factory stands at over 2,000 yuan. By Yu Liudong, People’s Daily

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