Pair assistance helps SW China’s Yunnan combat poverty


By Zhang Fan, Yang Wenming, People’s Daily


With the pair assistance provided by Shanghai and south China’s Guangdong province, southwest China’s Yunnan has reached many results in poverty alleviation.


Yunnan province has fully encouraged enterprises, government-affiliated institutions, and social organizations in Shanghai and Guangdong in investing in impoverished counties in the province.


Shanghai and Guangdong have guided enterprises to invest over 16.2 billion yuan ($2.48 billion) in Yunnan, helping 410,800 impoverished people. They have built 26 industrial parks that attract 63 firms and assisted in the construction of 698 poverty alleviation workshops, creating jobs for 50,500 residents.


More and more products from Yunnan find their markets in Shanghai and Guangdong thanks to a long-term pairing mechanism for production and sales. This year, the sales of Yunnan’s products for poverty alleviation in the two regions have exceeded 6.6 billion yuan.


“My house is the work of a designer from Shanghai,” said Zhang Dayou, a resident in Yunnan province.


The villager from Lancang Lahu autonomous county, Pu’er city of Yunnan was overjoyed after moving from a shabby bamboo house into a new one combining unique ethnic style and Shanghai architecture.


Thanks to the pair assistance offered by Shanghai and Guangdong, more and more impoverished villagers like Zhang have moved to decent houses and become better-off.


In Mangshi city of Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture, Yunnan, residents are busy cultivating vegetables, many of which are then sold to Shanghai citizens.


In 2017, Qingpu district of Shanghai paired up with Mangshi in poverty alleviation and helped more than 2,000 local peasant households grow a dozen varieties of vegetables including potato, sweet corn, and wild rice shoot. In this way, Shanghai and Yunnan have achieved win-win outcomes as green agricultural products of plateaus in Yunnan have found market in the metropolis.


In a dust-free workshop of Yunnan Tianyu Medical Equipment Co., Ltd. in Zhaotong city of the province, mask production lines are rolling at high speed.


The city couldn’t produce masks at all at the beginning of this year, and yet it now has a production capacity of 240,000 masks per day thanks to the company.


In January, after learning about the preferential policies on assisting Yunnan with poverty alleviation, Xia Juwen, chairman of the company, decided to introduce machinery, equipment and technology from Dongguan city in Guangdong to Zhaotong in the Wumeng Mountain area.


The workshop has provided jobs to impoverished residents who have moved out of the mountains, and ninety percent of the workshop’s 153 employees are locals in Zhaotong.


The minimum monthly wage for general employees is 3,500 yuan, while the salary of technicians reaches a maximum of 15,000 yuan, according to Xia.


The operating costs are much lower in Zhaotong than in Dongguan, Xia said, explaining that the electricity price in Zhaotong is 0.28 yuan per kilowatt-hour, compared with more than 1 yuan in Dongguan, and that the local government offers tax and fee breaks, and subsidies for salaries paid to registered impoverished households.


Since 2016, Yunnan has received more than 14 billion yuan of financial aid funds from Shanghai and Guangdong and completed 6,614 pair assistance programs.


The two regions have dispatched 837 officials and 3,680 professionals and technicians to help Yunnan fight poverty, injecting new momentum into the province’s poverty alleviation.


Besides, 280 hospitals in Shanghai and Guangdong have paired up with 259 medical and health care institutions in Yunnan to help combat poverty. Similarly, 413 schools and 3,284 companies in the two regions have provided pairing-up support for 422 schools in poor counties and 3,768 poverty-stricken villages in Yunan, respectively. And 441 social organizations from Shanghai and Guangdong have offered pair assistance to 471 poor villages in the province.