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Rural Tourism, Compulsory Education Contribute to Pengshui's Poverty Alleviation

By TRUMAN PENGICHONGQING|Oct 23,2020

Chongqing– The mayor and Party chief of Pengshui County hosted a press conference Tuesday to showcase their achievements and practices in lifting the poor population out of extreme poverty by developing rural tourism and strengthening compulsory education.

Party chief Qian Jianchao (L-3) and county mayor Shi Qiang (R-3) attend the press conference.

It was the last of a series of press conferences organized by the Information Office of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government to shed light on the city’s 14 counties and districts’ efforts in poverty alleviation.

“Pengshui Miao and Tujia Autonomous County in northeast Chongqing is home to the city’s largest ethnic minority population, with Miao ethnic people being a major constituent,” said Qian Jianchao, secretary of the CPC Pengshui Committee, “As of now, Pengshui has seen a total of 115 poor villages, over 28,000 poor households and 110,000 some poor people lifted out of extreme poverty.”

Qian further elaborated on Pengshui’s poverty reduction practices by saying that industrial development commitments, especially rural tourism and compulsory education, laid a solid foundation for getting rid of its poverty status.

Local Miao ethnic people wearing traditional costumes in a live streaming sales promotion event.

Pengshui enjoys unique advantages in having perhaps one of the most promising tourism resources in the city, with a whole tourism industry chain ready to be fully tapped. Qian said that by successfully hosting the China Wujiang River Miao Flower Mountain Festival, the China (Pengshui) Aquatic Sports Tournament, and the Southeast Ecological Folk Culture and Tourism Festival, Pengshui had established its name card for being the “world village of Miao people” and a “place to heal heart and soul.”

Developing rural tourism has created over 32,000 jobs for local villagers and helped more than 7,500 poor households achieve income growth. Its total volume of tourist visits grew from 3.4 million in 2012 to a whopping 30.28 million in 2019, with gross tourism revenue rising from 1 billion yuan to 15 billion yuan. Pengshui has also made it on the country’s top 100 tourism counties in 2018 and then again in 2019.

To tackle the hot-button issues of voluntary and involuntary dropouts, Pengshui launched a four-thronged support mechanism, including phased financial aids, dropout rate control, temporary assistance, and home tutoring services.

The picturesque “waterway gallery” along the Wujiang River in Pengshui.

“By focusing on promoting and implementing compulsory education policies, Pengshui gathered momentum for advancing its development in secondary education and vocational education,” Qian said. “It also saw great achievements in the college entrance examination system, with the number of students being admitted to first-tier key universities jumping from 255 in 2012 to 1,038 in 2020.” For the past few years, Pengshui has witnessed a steady 5,500 some students each year going to colleges and universities after completing compulsory education, Qian added.

2020 marks the final stage of China’s war against poverty alleviation and aims to build a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. From Aug. 27 to Oct. 20, the 14 counties and districts of Wanzhou, Qijiang, Wulong, Fengdu, Xiushan, Kaizhou, Yunyang, Wushan, Fengjie, Shizhu, Chengkou, Wuxi, Youyang, and Pengshui came forward and hold press conferences on their progress in poverty alleviation.

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