CGTN:A village s path to common prosperity

发布时间:2022-3-7 16:02:00  阅读数:3876


Xinchuan Village, Huzhou City in east China s Zhejiang Province, August 2021. /Zhang Xiaoqing

Xinchuan Village in east China s Zhejiang Province is surrounded by green mountains. The village has some 3,000 residents and covers an area of 10 square kilometers.

The per-capita disposable income here is over 150,000 yuan, or about $24,000. That s about 5 times higher compared to the national average.

The village s path to development is strongly related to a local battery factory and the man behind the company s development is Zhang Tianren, a deputy to the 13th National People s Congress.

In 1988, Zhang Tianren bought a local battery company for 5,000 yuan he borrowed.  At that time, I believed the batteries  market will be huge as the country also requires huge supply of energy to support its fast development,  he said. And Zhang s battery, mainly for e-bikes, got famous across the country in late 1990s for its endurance.

Business picked up, and the company was receiving orders from around China. This meant that it needed more employees. And villagers were among the first recruits.

Officials say capitalizing on homegrown talent was Xinchuan s first step toward common prosperity. As the company grew, secondary factories were opened to produce the materials to make batteries. And that had what appeared to be a domino effect on neighboring areas.

 Now, there are still 500 to 600 villagers working in our company,  said Zhang Tianren, President of Tianneng Co. Ltd.  Our secondary factories also promoted employment from neighboring areas. So in total, our entire industry chain has created over 6,000 jobs. 

However, there was period referred to as a darker period of the village, when pollution was rampant from byproducts of traditional energy companies.  

In 2004, Xi Jinping, then secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), visited Zhang s company and urged locals to  walk on the road of sustainable development .

Zhang Tianren, the village s Party secretary, then petitioned the owners of polluting companies in the area to close. But not everyone was happy with it.

 Surely, there were obstacles in the process of closing polluting companies,  Zhang said.  In fact, some people were strongly against it because closing those companies meant cutting a huge amount from some people s incomes. 

To help those companies transform, local government also provided certain subsidies for the companies to help them get through difficult times. Zhang Tianren said that the entire village used to have over 30 factories, and only a dozen were left.  The numbers of companies fell, but profits increased significantly,  he said.

The battery factory s transition to new energy not only curbed pollution, but also led to more income. Residents said the change was painful at first, but it gave way to something better, something greener.

Zhang Hong, 40, was born in Xinchuan Village. In 2018, he opened a home-stay in the village, something he couldn t imagine when he left the village 18 years ago.

 The home-stay used to be a small factory processing bamboos,  Zhang Hong said.  And the waste water was directly discharged into the river. It was really stinky. 

But the huge transformation surprised Zhang Hong and that s when he wanted to open a home-stay to welcome guests from neighboring cities for the green mountains and clear waters in the village.

Zhang Tianren said that Zhang Hong is also an example of the village s initiative of  calling villagers back .

 Those villagers, they have accumulated either capital, or information, or skills or management experiences over the years,  Zhang Tianren said.  And we supported their entrepreneurship when they came back because it finally will boost local economy and create more jobs.