Young people from all over China develop new rural designs in Xinjiang

URUMQI: Though not from Xinjiang, Shao Xiangli considers the place his second home. In 2017, aged 40 and a civil servant with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in Beijing, the primary regulator of the country’s banking business, Shao applied to work in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, under a government program that brings promising cadres into the region to support its development. In July that same year, he arrived in the city and started working at Xinjiang’s regional banking regulator.
But instead of sitting in his office in downtown Urumqi, Shao preferred to work more directly with the local people. Soon, he applied to work in Keqigiz, a village near the city of Artux in southwestern Xinjiang. He joined the village’s poverty alleviation campaign from January 2018 to May 2020.
During his two-year term as first secretary of the village, Shao worked with the head of the villagers’ committee to manage the village’s daily affairs, including collective business, medical care as well as education—and sometimes even assuming the role of marriage counselor. First secretary in a village is usually a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC) selected from outstanding young cadres and reserve cadres of CPC organs at all levels to help with poverty alleviation and rural revitalization, whereas the villagers’ committee is the self-governing body of a village.
After finishing his term as first secretary, Shao returned to his job in Urumqi, but he still visits the village almost every month, offering a helping hand whenever he can. During one such a visit in the summer of 2021, he learned that a villager had slipped in the shower and sustained injuries, and he helped coordinate the matter with an insurance company so that the family could get the medical fees reimbursed. “I was born in a rural area, so I think I better understand the countryside,” Shao told Beijing Review when explaining why he chose to work in a Xinjiang village.
–The Daily Mail-Beijing review news exchange item