In Shaanxi, Li lis­tens, of­fers hope to vil­lagers in down­trod­den area

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By HU YONGQI in Baoji, Shaanxi huy­ongqi@ chi­nadaily. com . cn

Walk­ing along a dirt road, Premier Li Ke­qiang first saw ragged houses buried in a moun­tain val­ley, where corn leaves swayed in a breeze on a hot Mon­day as he vis­ited Dawanhe vil­lage.

Af­ter a 90 - minute drive from down­town Baoji in south­west­ern Shaanxi prov­ince, Li reached the vil­lage, which has been known for its de­prived eco­nomic sta­tus, with about 31 per­cent of its res­i­dents liv­ing be­low the poverty line last year.

Houses were built on a ter­race- shaped moun­tain­side to ac­com­mo­date as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble in such a con­fined val­ley. Most houses were made of dirt and have been stand­ing for decades. Dogs and chick­ens alert res­i­dents when strangers ar­rive.

The premier stepped into the homes of two fam­i­lies, in­quir­ing about de­tails of their in­comes, chil­dren’s education and so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem for the el­derly.

He first went to the house­hold of Cai Cun­rang, 32, and her hus­band and chil­dren.

Cai said her fam­ily re­lies on her hus­band as oth­ers are ei­ther too young or too old. She has to take care of two of her daugh­ters when they go

I hope you will find good jobs af­ter mov­ing to new homes in the town and lead a pleas­ant life.” Premier Li Ke­qiang

to school in the township seat, about 19 km from the small vil­lage. Her hus­band’s par­ents are both deaf and can­not as­sist.

She said the 20,000 yuan ($ 2,940) her hus­band earned last year didn’ t meet their ex­pen­di­tures, and corn grown on the bar­ren land was not enough to ease their fi­nan­cial bur­den.

Cai’s neigh­bor C hen Fu­tian, 46, said the back­ward in­fra­struc­ture and lack of education had hin­dered the vil­lage’ s de­vel­op­ment. The mo­bile phone sig­nal was so un­sta­ble that C hen had to mo­tor­cy­cle 5 km to get a phone call. “Not to men­tion selling pro­duce on­line. Most vil­lage rs are un­e­d­u­cated and un­aware of how to use so­cial me­dia such as

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