The last time when I visited Shibadong Village in Xiangxi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture, I was deeply touched by what I saw and heard there. It was a long winding road up to the mountainous village. It took me quiet a while to walk to the village. When I got there, an old woman saw me and asked, “ How can I callyou?” “ Where do you come from?” She didn’t recognize me because she lived in a remote villageand didn’t watch TV. She was illiterate. Later, all the villagers came over and I found them all to be either the elderly or children or women. All the young and middle-aged men had gone to work in the cities. I wondered how we could lift them out of poverty in such an outlying village only with the left- behind children and seniorpeople. I then suggested that we should give them a few animals, and that eachhousehold be given a couple of black pigs, an ox and some sheep. We could manage to do that. On hearing my suggestion, the old villagers were very pleased and said that was what they really wanted.
After the 18th National Congress of CPC, I paid visits to some poverty-stricken areas to see with my own eyes how destitute the areas were, such as Fuping county in Hebei Province, Huanyuan County in Hunan Province, Dongxiang County in Gansu Province. All these counties were the most impoverished counties in China. How could they get out of poverty and become rich? In some areas, people didn’t really know much about the poverty relief strategies. They thought that by investing in some industrial projects they could lift people out of poverty. In the deep valleys or remote mountains without the talents and the markets, it was costly and difficult to develop the industries. We should find a more feasible solution to poverty. First, we should take our future generations into consideration in our poverty alleviation campaign. We should develop education first to make education accessible to all children. Second, We should invest in infrastructure construction, such as roads, electricity and water supply to make public services equitable to all. Next, we should tailor the relief policies to their specific situations. We should teach them the real skills of fishing instead of giving them the fish. We can give the elderly people some chickens, ducks or sheep of best breed, and teach them how to raise them in a scientific way. With additional relief fund, they can earn thousands of yuan annually so as to get out of poverty. As for the young people, we can help them find job opportunities and then give them vocational training. After that they can find jobs more easily elsewhere. Forthose engaged in farming, we can help them increase the added value of their products.
Why do weneed“targeted poverty alleviation”? It is not like “killing fleas with agrenade”. After the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949, large regiments were dispatched to suppress bandits in the mountains in the 1950s unsuccessfully. That was a futile attempt just like killing fleas with agrenade. To eliminate our enemy, we should dispatch a squad just like the one inTracks in the Snowy Forestto precisely target our enemy and attack them. It is the same case with poverty eradication. Otherwise money will be wasted. In anti-poverty campaign, we should avoid trumpeting empty slogans, nor should we set infeasible goals. We should focus on one thing at a time. Don’t make it different from others just because I have been there. Don’t make it a beautiful potted landscape that can’t be transplanted elsewhere. Besides,the money allotted should not be wasted in eating and drinking. That is strictlyforbidden.