Young people savvy to settle wherever life and career bloom
Published: Mar 14, 2023 01:00 AM
Illustration: Hang Dachuan/Global Times

Illustration: Hang Dachuan/Global Times

In the trending TV drama Go Where the Wind Blows, a college graduate gives up his promising career in Beijing to return to his hometown in Dali, Southwest China's Yunnan ­Province. The show grabbed the attention of audiences with the province's beautiful scenery, as well as the hero's courage and devotion to helping villagers live a better life. 

This, however, is far from fiction as waves of young people are returning to their hometowns to further their careers and more and more graduates are beginning to avoid mega-cities and start their own businesses in smaller towns and rural areas. The response "I am doing fine at home" has gradually become a trend among young job seekers today. 

Indeed, compared with big cities that suffer from overcrowded transport, restricted housing and high costs of living, smaller cities or rural areas have become the choice for more and more people, especially with the government rolling out favorable policies that create economic opportunities and revitalize the countryside.

From individual perspectives, the advantages of settling down in rural areas are many. First, there are increasing opportunities for employment in smaller cities and towns. Second, thanks to emerging industries, smaller cities and towns are in a good position to benefit from the new trends and attract talent. Third, with better investment potential, smaller cities now have improved industrial and supply chains, which can keep employment more stable.

Regarding daily life, smaller cities, towns and rural areas have lower living costs, more affordable housing and better air quality. Improved infrastructure, especially high-speed railways and inter-city transportation, has ended the isolation of towns and the countryside from big cities. There are also improving public services such as education, medical care and entertainment that can cater to the needs of local people, as the internet has on a large scale flattened many differences in rural and urban lives. Therefore, people living in smaller cities tend to be happier. In 2021, the net inflow of talent in smaller cities was higher than in provincial capitals.

At the just-concluded two sessions, Lu Quan, a deputy to the National People's Congress from the Ninglang Yi Autonomous County in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, revealed how he returned to his hometown and led 17 college graduates to develop a 64-hectare plantation for a new species of apple grown at 2,700 meters above sea level. Now almost every household in his village has its own business online. 

Cao Dianguo, a farmer in Xiaoyao village in Zaozhuang, Shandong Province, acquired his title of "associate agrarian" thanks to a local professional title evaluation system. It has boosted the confidence and morale of "new farmers" who have technical, marketing and business operation expertise. 

All of these "new farmers" can interpret national policies and explain them to their fellow villagers, and then can take more acceptable measures to help them become better off. 

Moreover, they can take advantage of the technical skills and new ideas acquired from their education and work experience in big cities as well as their marketing sense to build a more beautiful country. 

With the upgraded infrastructure and working environment, more and more young talents will surely be drawn back to their hometowns, which is crucial to rural revitalization.