Shan­dong gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced 74 projects in three years to pro­vide jobs and pro­mote de­vel­op­ment of re­mote ar­eas

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHAO RUIXUE and MAO WEIHUA in Kashgar, Xin­jiang

Around 6 kilo­me­ters from the ur­ban area of Shule county, Kashgar, one of the least-de­vel­oped ar­eas in North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, is home to a tex­tile in­dus­trial park.

With mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties such as spa­cious plants and so­lar pow­ered street lamps, it stands out on an oth­er­wise va­cant ex­panse of land.

In­side a plant at the Shule Ruyi Hi-Tech Tex­tile In­dus­trial Park, a project in­vested in by Ruyi Group, which is based in Jin­ing, Shan­dong prov­ince, dozens of work­ers fine-tune the au­to­matic pro­duc­tion line, pre­par­ing for the of­fi­cial start of pro­duc­tion, which is sched­uled for this month.

“I have spent two months learn­ing how to man­age the pro­duc­tion line. It is to­tally au­to­matic. What I need to do is to keep a close eye on an iPad, which shows whether the ma­chines are work­ing cor­rectly,” said Tuhangul Musa, a fe­male worker at the park.

The 24-year-old worked in a lo­cal tex­tile and gar­ment com­pany for two years be­fore tak­ing her cur­rent job.

“I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing at such a spa­cious and clean plant,” Tuhangul said.

After pass­ing a three-month pro­ba­tion­ary pe­riod, she will sign a con­tract with the com­pany, and get a salary of around 2,500 yuan ($370) a month. Her hus­band is also work­ing at the tex­tile park.

Long-term project

The head of Ruyi Group’s Xin­jiang Ruyi Tex­tile Gar­ment Co, Zhou Hon­grun, who is re­spon­si­ble for the op­er­a­tion of the com­pany’s Shule project, said: “The equip­ment we use at the plant is con­sid­ered state of the art in the tex­tile sec­tor. We bought most of it from Ger­many, Italy and Switzer­land.”

He said the in­dus­trial park in­volves a to­tal in­vest­ment of 1.5 bil­lion yuan.

When the en­tire pro­duc­tion line is put into use, it is ex­pected to pro­duce 250,000 spin­dles of high-qual­ity yarn a year and pro­vide jobs for 1,200 peo­ple, 80 per­cent of whom are from the Uygur eth­nic group. The com­pany en­joys pref­er­en­tial poli­cies on tax, use of land and in­fra­struc­ture from lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

Zhou is op­ti­mistic about the in­dus­trial park and views it as a long-term project.

“The yarn pro­duced at Shule can be used at the tex­tile base built by Ruyi Group in Pak­istan,” said Zhou, adding that the Pak­istan base is sched­uled to be com­pleted by 2020.

“By in­vest­ing in Xin­jiang, Ruyi Group not only gains eco­nomic ben­e­fits, but it cre­ates so­cial ben­e­fits,” he said.

The com­pany has trained 150 Uygur peo­ple in mod­ern tex­tile skills in Shule, and in ad­di­tion to build­ing plants, the com­pany ex­tends its pro­duc­tion line to vil­lagers’ homes.

Ruyi Group has pro­vided 50 sock-mak­ing ma­chines for 12 fam­i­lies in the fifth vil­lage of Ba­heqi town since June as part of a pilot project. The group plans to pro­vide sock-mak­ing ma­chines for 108 fam­i­lies in the vil­lage.

Aytuer­sun man­ages four ma­chines that were in­stalled in her two-story house in June.

“My job is mon­i­tor­ing whether the ma­chines work well and check­ing if the socks the ma­chines make have flaws,” Aytuer­sun said.

The 22-year-old works on the first floor and lives with her par­ents on the sec­ond floor. The two-story house was built by the Shan­dong gov­ern­ment as a pilot project to re­store di­lap­i­dated houses.

Cre­at­ing more jobs

Ruyi Group is re­spon­si­ble for teach­ing res­i­dents how to use the ma­chines to make socks and col­lect­ing the socks to be sold.

The tex­tile project de­vel­oped by Ruyi Group is one of 74 projects that Shan­dong has in­tro­duced to Kashgar in the past three years in a bid to pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of the area and pro­vide more jobs for lo­cal Uygur peo­ple.

Sta­tis­tics pro­vided by the Shan­dong gov­ern­ment show the projects have cre­ated jobs for more than 60,000 peo­ple.

For ex­am­ple, a glove-mak­ing project in­vested in by Jin­ing Zhongx­ing Gar­ments has in­volved the de­vel­op­ment of 19 work­shops in vil­lages in Kashgar and has seen more than 2,700 women taught glove­mak­ing skills.

“We are de­vel­op­ing town and vil­lage man­u­fac­tur­ing bases to reach more peo­ple who are con­fined to their home, such as se­niors and women who have to take care of their chil­dren,” said Lian Gang, an of­fi­cial with Shan­dong gov­ern­ment’s depart­ment for as­sist­ing Xin­jiang.

In the sev­enth vil­lage of Mangxin town in Yengisar county, a stage which was used by res­i­dents for danc­ing is now also used as a place to lock­stitch car­pets.

Rezi­wan­gul Yim­ing, 33, works with more than 50 fel­low vil­lagers at the stage al­most ev­ery day.

She earns 3 yuan by lock­stitch­ing 1 me­ter of car­pet for Kashgar New Yinhe Car­pet, a com­pany in­vested in by Shan­dong Yinhe, which is based in Shan­dong’s Zibo.

Be­fore, Rezi­wan­gul had to stay at home to look after her two chil­dren.

“I can earn over 1,000 yuan a month. With the money, I buy clothes and books for my chil­dren,” she said.

“More than 140 women in the vil­lage have ap­plied for the job of lock-stitch­ing car­pets, of which 70 per­cent are from im­pov­er­ished fam­i­lies. They need to be trained be­fore start­ing work,” said Yin Jun­wei, an of­fi­cial in the vil­lage, adding that lock-stitch­ing car­pets will sub­stan­tially im­prove their qual­ity of life.

In a res­i­den­tial area of Yop­urga county, Bi­likezi Say­imu man­ages a cross-stitch co­op­er­a­tive.

“The co­op­er­a­tive has been ex­panded to cover 1,000 square me­ters from the orig­i­nal 20 sq m, thanks to 2 mil­lion yuan in fund­ing from Ta­ian city’s depart­ment for as­sist­ing Xin­jiang,” Bi­likezi said.

As a part of the 1,000-sq-m com­pound, there is a kinder­garten where two teach­ers take care of chil­dren of work­ers at the co­op­er­a­tive.

To date, the kinder­garten has 18 chil­dren.

Prod­ucts from the co­op­er­a­tive are sold to cities in­clud­ing Bei­jing, and gen­er­ated sales rev­enue of 330,000 yuan last year.

Shan­dong is work­ing on in­tro­duc­ing more projects to the four coun­ties of Kashgar that fit lo­cal sit­u­a­tions and can pro­mote the area’s de­vel­op­ment in the long run.

“By stretch­ing pro­duc­tion lines to vil­lages and homes, we pro­vide places where peo­ple can work close to home and make a bet­ter liv­ing with their own hands, rather than just re­ly­ing on as­sis­tance. It’s a sus­tain­able strat­egy,” Lian said.

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhaoruixue@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

ZHAO RUIXUE / CHINA DAILY

Work­ers make gloves at a work­shop in­vested in by Jin­ing Zhongx­ing Gar­ments in Kashgar, Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

YANG QINGHUA / FOR CHINA DAILY

Em­ploy­ees test the pro­duc­tion line in a fac­tory at the Shule Ruyi Hi-Tech Tex­tile In­dus­trial Park.

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