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Sitting down with the president before Chinese New Year
Xinhua 2020-01-23 16:58:27

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits pig farmer Li Fashun's house in Simola Wa village, Qingshui township of the city of Tengchong, Southwest China's Yunnan during an inspection tour to the province ahead of the Chinese New Year, Jan 19, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]


As the Year of the Pig is coming to an end, pig farmer Li Fashun received an unusual visitor at his village house in Southwest China -- President Xi Jinping.


Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, walked into Li's house in Simola Wa village in Yunnan province last Sunday during an inspection tour to the province ahead of the Chinese New Year.


The house courtyard was basked in the rays of Southwest China's warm winter sun. Xi sat down with Li's family of six at a square table.


"What is your expectation now that your family has been lifted out of poverty?" the president asked.


"A better life for our elders and good jobs for the kids. Then I will have nothing more to ask," the farmer replied.


Li's family is one of 16 households -- altogether 71 individuals -- who have left poverty behind in the country's anti-poverty campaign. With an annual per capita net income over 10,000 yuan (about $1,450), the entire village today is above the poverty line, leaving no single person behind.


The village has lived up to its name -- Simola, which in the local Wa language means the place of happiness.


"I raise pigs while growing some maize and tea at home. Sometimes I also collect and trade recycled items. My wife works at an electronics factory in Guangdong Province, earning a wage that is not bad," Li said.


"How is the price of pigs? How much can you earn by raising a pig?" Xi asked.


"I sold eight pigs for nearly 30,000 yuan," Li said with a big smile. "The government even gives us subsidies if we raise a sow."


This represents a fundamental transformation for Li's family. About a decade ago, the family was nearly destroyed by a car accident that left Li almost paralyzed. The family lost its main source of income, and the school fees of his son and daughter were left unpaid.


Li got help through "targeted poverty alleviation," an initiative put forward by Xi in 2013, mobilizing all sorts of resources and using individualized plans to help each and every family escape poverty.


Over 10 million Chinese people have shaken off poverty every year since 2013.


The country aims to eliminate extreme poverty by 2020 and is now in its final push to achieve the goal.


Xi has called on efforts to resolve the prominent problems in assuring the food and clothing needs of the rural poor population are met and guaranteeing they have access to compulsory education, basic medical services and safe housing, referred to as the "two assurances and three guarantees."


 
 
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