Shanghai leaders check economic aid program in Yunnan

Mayor Ying Yong led a Shanghai government delegation to visit Pu'er and Dali, two cities in southwest China's Yunnan Province, from August 25 to 27.
They inspected some villages, enterprises and hospitals and talked to people still living in poor
conditions to learn about the effect of the Shanghai-supported poverty alleviation program. They were accompanied by Yunnan Governor Ruan Chengfa.
More than 700,000 people in the remote province have benefitted from the program since 1996. About 4.3 billion yuan (US$649 million) has been invested in 8,200 projects.

Ying said Shanghai will continue to support poverty alleviation in Yunnan under a partnership agreement it signed with Yunnan. The Central Government paired Shanghai with Yunnan for economic aid and cooperation in 1996.

In the past 21 years, Shanghai provided financial and talent support to Pu¡¯er City, totaling 900 million yuan (US$136 million).

The delegation drove to Xiangyun Village in Zhutang Town to see the life of an ethnic tribe known as Laku. About 70 percent of the households still live in poverty. Ying assured them that their life will improve day by day under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

Ying also went to Wazu Village in the town and entered the newly-built house of a family. Yan Gan, the house owner, said he felt like living in a villa. His family shed poverty by working away from home, growing fruit trees and earning dividends from village co-ops.

A village official told Ying that thanks to the poverty alleviation program, nearly 50 villagers found jobs in Shanghai with an average salary of over 2,000 yuan (US$302).

When traveling in Laba Town, Lancang County, Ying expressed his concern for local education and said primary education is the key to eliminating poverty. Local officials told Ying that the town has a primary school for 400 students who enjoy spacious classrooms, a library and a public bath.

During their tour in Yunnan, Shanghai officials said they will continue to help local industries become sustainable, boost agriculture, and import more Yunnan products. Shanghai Anxin Agriculture Insurance Company, YTO Express, Shanghai No. 9 People¡¯s Hospital are all actively involved in the support program.

Peng Chenlei, vice mayor of Shanghai, and He Jinping, deputy governor of Yunnan, joined the inspection tour.