You can al­ways count on the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s care.”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

The cen­tral lead­er­ship has is­sued a new plan to re­vi­tal­ize the econ­omy in the north­east, which has long been ham­pered by a lack of re­form and in­dus­trial up­grad­ing.

The re­gion, con­sist­ing of Hei­longjiang, Jilin and Liaon­ing prov­inces and the eastern part of the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, was an in­dus­trial bas­tion in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dur­ing his three-day tour, Xi trav­eled to Hei­longjiang’s for­est ar­eas, farm­ing ar­eas, the homes of eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups, and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in Harbin, the prov­ince’s ur­ban cen­ter.

In Yichun, a city with 4 mil­lion hectares of for­est that used to be known for its lum­ber trade, res­i­dents have aban­doned the in­dus­try since 2013.

Xi ap­plauded the for­mer forestry work­ers’ ef­forts on forestry pro­tec­tion and the devel­op­ment of di­verse new en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly in­dus­tries.

“A good en­vi­ron­ment is also a re­source. A good en­vi­ron­ment is also a form of pro­duc­tiv­ity,” Xi told the res­i­dents.

He en­cour­aged them to seek sus­tain­able busi­ness from the pro­tec­tion and con­ser­va­tion of lo­cal nat­u­ral re­sources. “But you can al­ways count on the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s care,” Xi said.

Wu Peis­han, 33, who lives in Yichun, started her busi­ness in Bei­jing, sell­ing the high qual­ity honey col­lected from 30 house­holds, 10 of which used to de­pend on the lum­ber in­dus­try.

“An­nu­ally, they can make 30,000 to 50,000 yuan ($4,570 to $7,600) on av­er­age, higher than their wages be­fore,” she said, adding that the best per­form­ing house­hold could make as much as 80,000 yuan a year.

Jiang Yong­bin, an­other for­mer forestry worker, now earns a liv­ing from aquatic farm­ing with his for­mer col­leagues. “I thank Pres­i­dent Xi for bring­ing good poli­cies to us,” he said.

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhengjin­ran@chi­nadaily.

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