Profile: Villager from foot of Great Wall stands at national legislature
BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- For Beijinger Wang Quan, the Chinese capital is not only a concrete jungle epitomizing urban hustle and bustle. Its suburbs are home to 2 million people, many of whom are farmers.
How rural people can enjoy the benefits of economic development is a subject that always haunts Wang.
The 60-year-old deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) hails from Beigou village at the foot of the Great Wall's Mutianyu section in Beijing's Huairou District.
At the ongoing third session of the 13th NPC, Wang suggested villages should have property management companies for improving living conditions.
Unlike legislators in the West who are career politicians, nearly 3,000 NPC deputies come from all walks of life and work part-time. During an NPC session, they submit proposals and suggestions as well as review and vote on legal documents and personnel changes.
Born and raised in Beigou village, Wang has straddled several roles, being a startup-owner, a township cadre and a company general manager before deciding to return home to help with the development of his village in 2004.
He was once saddened by a villager's reluctance to admit he was from the poor village. Wang was determined to do something for the place that nurtured him.
"My wife disagreed with my decision, considering my income would largely shrink. But I insisted no matter what she said," he said.
Villagers voted him as the head of the village committee in 2007, hoping the man who had seen the world could make the village come out of poverty.
Supported by the higher-level township government, Wang led the villagers to build the first concrete road in the village.
"We couldn't afford a construction company, so we had to work ourselves," he said.
Wang thinks the surrounding mountains considered a barrier to the village's development could be a treasure.
"Holding a gold bowl, how could we beg others for food," he said, indicating the nearby Great Wall and the beautiful landscape could become a cash cow.
The village then started drawing tourists, turning itself from an unknown corner to a well-known "international village," where more than 10 foreigners have invested in the family inn business.
Currently, more than 30 high-end family inns have become popular. The village now receives about 50,000 tourists every year, with the per capita income reaching 28,300 yuan (about 4,000 U.S. dollars) in 2019, six times that in 2004.
Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics show the per capita disposable income of rural residents in Beijing Municipality surged from 17,101 yuan in 2013 to 28,928 yuan in 2019.
Wang's suggestion on property management firms in rural areas was born from the experience of his village which got one in 2016, leading to all 155 households getting a garbage vat with trash sorting features.
Cleaners of the company, who are mostly disabled villagers or from low-income households, now collect and transport the garbage to the classified treatment station on a regular basis. Littering that used to be common in the village is no longer seen, according to Wang.
"People will support you only if you do your job well. As an NPC deputy from the rural area, I will, as always, speak for and serve the rural residents wholeheartedly," he said. Enditem