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​Initiatives on poverty transform Lyuliang

Time:2022-09-20 15:03:40


The Shanxi city of Lyuliang recently reported an excellent economic operation performance for the first half of this year, as its GDP grew 7.4 percent year-on-year to 108.4 billion yuan ($15.57 billion).

The growth rate presented a sharp contrast with the national average of 2.5 percent and ranked it first among all the cities in Shanxi province. This also shows that Lyuliang is on track for rapid and high-quality development, local officials said.

Over the past 10 years, Lyuliang has made great strides in industrial transformation, rural vitalization, environmental protection and the improvement of livelihoods, making it a suitable place for living and doing business, according to officials.

Its GDP surpassed 200 billion yuan in 2021, about 1.7 times more than that of 2012. Per capita income of urban and rural residents reached 32,551 yuan and 11,754 yuan respectively, up 1.6 times and 2.2 times from 2012.

But things were quite different a decade ago. Lyuliang used to be one of the least-developed regions in Shanxi, according to officials, who said its poverty status was the result of its harsh natural environment and an underdeveloped economy.

Officials said the city's transformation began from a range of attempts targeting poverty relief.

These initiatives included a massive program for training women as home service workers, which has ushered in a strong vocational training industry and a local service brand name of "Lyuliang nannies".

Another initiative was to boost rural residents' livelihood by improving their living environment through the planting of trees and grasses to curb soil erosion and improve farming conditions.

Operating plantations and growing of trees have developed into a local characteristic industry, which, while bringing tangible benefits to the farmers engaged, has made a great contribution to improvements in the local environment.

Local statistics show Lyuliang now ranks first in vegetation coverage and third in forest coverage in Shanxi province. This has also led to improvements in air and water quality.

The improving ecosystem means more possibilities for farmers. With better-than-ever soil conditions, increasing precipitation and fewer natural disasters, local rural residents have developed various farming sectors to improve and sustain their livelihoods, including organic vegetables and grains and animal husbandry.

Lyuliang announced the elimination of absolute poverty in 2021, with all of its 590,000 residents registered as poor lifted out of this status.

As a traditional coal-mining base in Shanxi, Lyuliang has implemented an industrial transformation campaign aimed at diversification and sustainable development.

The city is now shifting its emphasis to such industries as new energy, the digital economy and cultural tourism.

Lyuliang is now a hydrogen industrial hub in Shanxi with an industrial chain from hydrogen production to the manufacturing of hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

The city is home to a digital economy industrial park, which now boasts 36 big-data enterprises, including operations established by Chinese big names like Huawei and iFlytek.

Yan Zhongxing contributed to this story.

The cloud data center established by Chinese tech giant Huawei in the city of Lyuliang. YAN ZHONGXING/FOR CHINA DAILY