China's iconic revolutionary base Yan'an casts off poverty
File Photo: The Baota Mountain scenic area is seen with blooming flowers in the foreground in Yan'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, April 21, 2019. (Xinhua/Shao Rui)
Yan'an, a former revolutionary base of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is no longer labeled "poor," as its last two impoverished counties have shaken off poverty, the Shaanxi provincial government announced Tuesday.
Yan'an hosted the then headquarters of the CPC and the center of the Communist revolution from 1935 to 1948. The city is now home to more than 350 sites related to the Chinese revolution.
The counties of Yanchuan and Yichuan, with a population of 192,000 and 120,000 respectively and both located along the western bank of the Yellow River, have limited fertile valley fields. Villagers there had been plagued by poverty for decades.
American journalist Edgar Snow wrote in his 1937 book "Red Star over China" that the area was "one of the poorest parts of China" he had seen.
According to the provincial poverty relief office, poverty-stricken residents in the two counties now only account for 1.06 and 0.58 percent respectively of their populations, meeting the country's requirement for an impoverished county to shake off the title.
An investment of 6.25 billion yuan (920 million U.S. dollars) from the central and local governments has been poured into Yan'an over the past four years.
To make sure that every household can get rid of poverty, the city has sent a total of 1,784 Party chiefs, 1,546 working teams and 37,400 cadres to live in the villages to help with poverty alleviation.
A total of 693 impoverished villages in the city have shaken off poverty, with 195,000 people being lifted out of poverty.
The cradle of the revolution has continued to undergo tremendous changes over the past decades. Improved environment and infrastructure, booming agricultural economy, increasingly affordable education, healthcare, and multiple career choices for rural residents have rejuvenated the city.
Yan'an will continue to help the remaining impoverished people shake off poverty, and strive to enter a moderately prosperous society in all respects with the rest of the country by 2020, said Xu Xinrong, Party chief of the city.