Story of border township Yumai shows CPC’s development concept is people-centered: expert
Published: Oct 23, 2022 08:23 PM
Dancers present?hada, traditional silk scarves used to express respect and greeting, during a musical based on the story of Zhuoga and Yangzong on May 31, 2022.?Photo: Xinhua

Dancers present?hada, traditional silk scarves used to express respect and greeting, during a musical based on the story of Zhuoga and Yangzong on May 31, 2022.?Photo: Xinhua

The transformation of Yumai, a border township in Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, is the epitome of how border regions have developed in the last decade under the leadership of the Communist Party of China(CPC), experts noted.

Yumai in Shannan, Xizang, was China's smallest township in terms of population. With improved transportation and infrastructure, the remote township  has now taken on a new look.

"Previously, border regions faced several difficulties in development. Those remote areas usually have very small populations, and the harsh environment and limited resources made it hard to start up industries," Xiao Jie, deputy director at the Institute of Contemporary Studies of the China Tibetology Research Center, told the Global Times.

Infrastructural constructions were also inadequate. The border areas were far away from major cities and were hardly connected to main roads, let alone railways, so people's needs in education and medical care could not always be met, Xiao introduced.

Governments at all levels have been making constant efforts to develop border areas and improve people's lives. Under the leadership of the CPC, financial input has been increasing year-on-year for border development in Xizang. 

Particularly since 2012, border villages, townships, and counties in Xizang have benefited from more preferential policies on infrastructure construction, covering water, electricity, roads, and housing, according to the white paper, "Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development, and Prosperity," published by China's State Council Information Office in May 2021.

Yumai is not the only border town that has benefited from favorable policies. 

A border village in Yadong county, bordering India and Bhutan, is now fully covered and connected to utilities such as tap water and electricity, and infrastructures such as roads and internet. It's also fitted with its own facilities such as a gym, a police station, kindergartens, a supermarket, and plastic runways.

A local official told the Global Times that villagers are seeking to develop tourism. Some of them have vacated certain rooms in their homes to transform them into homestays.

"The policies and governance have seen effects," Xiao noted. "In the border areas of Nyingchi and Shannan, where the altitude is relatively low with a more livable environment, more residents have been moving in to settle down." 

"They could develop industries such as tourism while helping defend the borders," Xiao said, "Now their income isn't so different from that of those living in other parts of China."

"In harsh border regions such as Ali, the government also ensures the basic living conditions of border residents," Xiao introduced.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has made arrangements for social stability, border development, ecological protection, and ethnic unity in Xizang and opened a new chapter of improving governance, stability, and people's wellbeing there, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

On March 9, 2013, when joining the delegation from Xizang in a panel discussion at the first session of the 12th National People's Congress, Xi said, "To govern the country well we must first govern the frontiers well, and to govern the frontiers well we must first ensure stability in Xizang."

By the end of 2020, first-tier and second-tier border villages had access to highways, all border townships and towns were connected to the main power grid, and all border villages had access to postal services, mobile communications, and safe drinking water. Through all these efforts in the border areas in Tibet, infrastructure has seen remarkable improvements, all industries are flourishing, and the people enjoy better living and working conditions, Xinhua reported.

"From the story of Yumai, we could see the CPC's development concept is people-centered," Xiao said. "The CPC does, based on the difficulties and needs of the people, solve problems and serve the people."

"With regard to development, the border and other areas are regarded as one, and the ethnic and other areas are also regarded as one. This also reflects the socialist concept of equality and development," Xiao said.

"No matter how difficult the conditions are, no one would be left behind on the road to development," he said.