VET­ERAN TREE PLANTER Wang Cheng­bang,

Beijing Review - - This Week -

a res­i­dent of Korla City, north­west China’s Xin­jiang Uygur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion, has been de­voted to plant­ing trees for over 50 years. When Wang ar­rived in the city in 1956 as a mil­i­tary re­cruit, he was dis­ap­pointed with the vast bar­ren deserts, given that the city is only 70 km south of China’s largest desert, the Tak­la­makan Desert. He made a de­ci­sion to plant trees in the re­gion. Wang be­gan by plant­ing trees in the mil­i­tary camp in his spare time. Since re­tir­ing in 1994, he has made tree-plant­ing his full-time job. On be­ing told by doc­tors that he only had a few months to live af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer in 2005, he made up his mind to plant more trees. De­fy­ing the di­ag­no­sis, 13 years later, he is now 82 years old. “I’ve been liv­ing in Xin­jiang for more than 60 years now,” Wang said. “My wish is still to grow more trees and leave a greener Xin­jiang for the next gen­er­a­tion.”

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