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Dedicated officials lead way in poverty relief

Source: Time: 30 07,2021

A worker processes golden bell leaves at a herbal tea plant in Lingchuan county.Liu Tong/For China Daily  

Nearly 18 months have passed since Shanxi announced its eradication of absolute poverty in February last year. However, officials who have devoted their energy and effort on this front are still remembered fondly by many of the residents.

In Taibei village in Lingchuan, a county in the southeastern Shanxi city of Jincheng, when residents talk about the changes over the past year, they usually say that they "owe a lot to the Party officials of senior Guo and junior Guo".

The two Guos they mention are father and daughter-Guo Jianping and Guo Zihan.

Guo Jianping, then 51, died on his post as a poverty-relief official on Aug 2, 2019, as a result of chronic disease and heavy workload.

Guo Zihan was then a graduate from a university in Liaoning province, planning to continue her studies in a postgraduate program.

Upon the news of her father's death, Guo Zihan immediately changed her mind. She gave up her plan for postgraduate study and decided to go back to her home village to continue her father's work.

She applied to the county's Party committee to work as a village Party official. The application was approved a month later and she became the Party chief of Taibei.

According to her father's work plan, Guo Zihan helped to build a number a facilities-including a road, a wastewater treatment plant and a reservoir-in Taibei.

Based on local medical herb plantations, Guo Zihan decided to establish a golden bell processing factory in Taibei, offering a new source of revenue and new job opportunities for the locals.

Thanks to these efforts, villagers in Taibei have seen fundamental changes in their livelihoods.

Their per capita annual income increased from 3,000 yuan ($460) several years ago to 8,000 yuan in 2020.

There was a similar story in the village of Longquan in Yangcheng county in Jincheng.

Zhu Kexin was appointed a poverty-relief official to the village by the Jincheng poverty-alleviation office in 2015. She brought great changes to Longquan, planning to build roads, bridges and, a solar power station, as well as develop a number of industries with local characteristics.

She left her post in 2017 when her term of service expired.

Paying close attention to what Zhu did in the village, Yu Kun, her husband, applied to be Zhu's successor in the same year.

With continued efforts from Yu, the village was lifted from poverty at the end of 2018.

Thanks to officials like Guo, Zhu and Yu, Jincheng announced the eradication of poverty in 2020.

In 2015, the per capita income of the registered poverty population in Jincheng stood at 3,514 yuan. In 2020, the figure increased to 10,600 yuan, according to the city government.

By Yuan Shenggao

Wang Pei contributed to this story.