Luo Zhaohui, chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), and his wife Jiang Yili invited couples of diplomatic envoys in China to visit Lipao village, Yanqing district, Beijing, on Oct 16.
The diplomatic envoy couples from South Korea, Nepal, Brunei, Russia, Mozambique, Mauritius and Solomon Islands, as well as United Nations Resident Coordinator in China Siddharth Chatterjee, UNICEF Representative in China Cynthia McCaffrey, CIDCA Vice-Chairman Zhou Liujun, and Yu Bo, head of Yanqing, participated in the activity.
Luo and the guests first went to Lipao's history museum, where they saw the huge transformation of the village from just two households in a barren wasteland to a thriving and prosperous place that boasts good ecology and green development, as well as saw how the village changed into a model and epitome of China's elimination of absolute poverty in rural areas and construction of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Luo said advancing the rural revitalization strategy is the only way to reach common prosperity in China and a great contribution to global poverty reduction and human development. In July, the CIDCA, based on the responsibilities for foreign aid and its resources, bonded with Yanqing as a chief partner of rural revitalization, signing cooperation documents focusing on tourism, Juncao, Chinese herbal medicine, ecotourism and other fields, and achieved an early harvest and expanded a number of cooperation results in less than a month.
Luo said the visit to Yanqing has three main purposes.
First, to further improve the popularity of Yanqing. The district hosted the International Horticultural Expo in 2019 and will host the Winter Olympics next year. The Great Wall is also the pride of Yanqing. Yanqing will promote these three places and events to help the world learn more about it.
The district's development reflects valuable experience of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Luo said, adding that China is willing to share it with other developing countries without reservation, making the fruits of development benefit more countries and people.
He said he hopes diplomats will visit Yanqing more often, leverage their influence, actively introduce and promote Yanqing in their own countries and internationally, and become bridges and bonds for promoting Yanqing's development experience.
Second, to let the diplomats have a deeper understanding of China's rural vitalization strategy and construction of new socialist countryside.
Diplomats mainly live and work in big cities and have few opportunities to go to the countryside. One can't truly know China without gaining insight into its rural issues, Luo said.
Historically, China has long valued agriculture and restrained commerce. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, China placed more emphasis on industrial development than on agricultural development.
China's reform and opening-up in 1978 began in rural areas, and now the country has eliminated absolute poverty, but the gap between urban and rural areas still exists. Now, the Chinese government continues to attach great importance to rural areas, agriculture and farmers and is committed to building beautiful countryside and achieving common prosperity.
Third, to invite in the resources that help with Yanqing's development, and to carry out international exchanges, introduce international resources, and strengthen international cooperation. Luo said he hopes that the diplomats, especially the relevant international organizations, could play an active role to leverage more development resources for Yanqing's rural revitalization. The more visitors, the more investment, the more delegations, the better.
Yu welcomed the diplomats to Yanqing, saying that the district has a long history and excellent ecology, and is friendly and open. Yanqing will host the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in February next year, and at the same time is committed to becoming an international ski resort and an international first-class ecological civilization demonstration area.
Under the coordination and support of the CIDCA, Yanqing has reached cooperation intentions with a number of leading enterprises such as Sinopharm and CYTS, and several cooperation projects are being carried out smoothly and accelerated, which brings a strong boost to the cause of rural vitalization in Yanqing.
Zhang Heng, head of Lipao village, talked more about the village, saying that the village is the front-runner of Yanqing's future development.
The village will deeply implement the new development philosophy, seize the opportunity of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, promote the transformation and upgrading of agricultural tourism, and cooperate with sister villages to build a new landmark for leisure tourism in the suburbs of Beijing. It will actively try out the corporate operation of rural industries so as to create more benefits for the villagers and build itself into a beautiful village.
Mozambique Ambassador Maria Gustava, Nepalese Ambassador Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, and Chatterjee spoke at the symposium held during the visit, applauding the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government and people for their great victory in eradicating absolute poverty. They agreed that the Chinese people have made the leap from poverty and backwardness to affluence, cleanliness and beauty through their long and arduous struggle for development, which has inspired and motivated people in other regions of the world. China's experience is an important reference for developing countries to achieve sustainable development, and its active sharing of this experience is a concrete manifestation of the Global Development Initiative.
After the symposium, the diplomats visited a bonsai garden, Juncao demonstration site and apple orchard in the village and experienced farming.
The Juncao demonstration site was bustling with people. Twenty years ago, Juncao assistance was promoted to other countries. The technology, which is modest yet highly cost-effective and efficient in improving livelihoods, has taken root in more than 100 countries and brought about significant economic and social benefits. With the support of the CIDCA, Juncao, a "rich grass", was established in the village of Lipao.
At the demonstration site, the diplomats picked mushrooms cultivated by Juncao and tasted fried mushrooms and ganoderma tea cultivated by Juncao.
The diplomats were impressed by the advantages of the herb, which is highly adaptable, practical, inexpensive, and has many other advantageous properties.
Yanqing is the contracted apple supplier for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The diplomats had a lot of fun picking apples themselves.
They said they appreciated the achievements of China's new socialist countryside construction and expressed their willingness to closely exchange and learn from the development experience with China, and to promote Yanqing internationally and support its development.