Ningde City in northeastern China was once one of the poorest areas in the country. In the late 1990s, many residents still lived in thatched huts and on small boats. Three decades later, ambassadors from 13 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America have arrived to a city transformed. CGTN’s Liu Jiaxin has the story.
Houses built atop a hill, with windows facing the sea… This is Xiaqi Village.
LIU JIAXIN: “Before 1997, a boat like this could be home to a whole family. Without houses on the land, villagers could only wander on the sea. Then after 2000, the government helped them to relocate to the land and settle down.”
JIANG CHENGCAI (Fisher, Xiaqi Village): “We used to eat and drink on the boat, but now we don’t have to. What’s more, a kilo of fish used to cost 10 cents. Now it costs eight hundred per kilo.”
Encouraged by the government, more than 2,000 villagers have all moved ashore, expanding from a single fishing industry into aquaculture, commercial services and construction. By moving and developing industries, it’s part of China’s efforts to eradicate poverty. And the visiting ambassadors say they recognize the achievements.
ROBERT STERLING QUANT (Bahamas Ambassador to China): “It’s long-term planning. It’s not an overnight thing. The people, who are involved, the majority of what I’ve seen, embrace the opportunity and tried to make the best of it. I think it’s just as important as moving them, say maybe from the mountain to the lower area, or from the boat onto the land. But they embrace it.”
DR. PALITHA T.B. KOHONA (Sri Lankan Ambassador to China): “I wish to congratulate China, particularly provinces like Fujian. I believe there are many examples and lessons we can learn.”
LIU JIAXIN: “Over the four-day trip in Fujian Province, ambassadors say they are seeing and learning from China’s experience in poverty alleviation. And they believe what China does can help them make people from their countries live a better life.