Across China: "Bilingual" constitutional class in central China's Miao village

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-13 19:28:23|Editor: Yurou
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CHANGSHA, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Shi Deyuan, 91 and a member of the Miao ethnic group, is to attend a lecture by the village Party secretary, a national lawmaker, Long Xianwen, on the Constitution.

"Long is the pride of our village, he has helped us escape poverty," said Shi. "So we all attend any activity he holds."

Long is in the tea garden of Niujiaoshan Village in Guzhang County of Tujia-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Xiangxi, central China's Hunan Province, preparing for his lecture.

After returning from the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, in Beijing on March 21, he has held six lectures on the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and constitutional amendments adopted at the NPC annual session.

"People are the busiest at this time of the year, as tea-leaves picked up before Qingming can be sold at more than 200 yuan (about 32 U.S.dollars) per kilogram ," Long said. "So we decided to hold the lecture after villagers finish their work."

Traditionally, Chinese value tea made from the very first tea sprouts in spring that should be picked up before Qingming Festival, which falls on April 5 this year.

At nearly 4:30 p.m., when the farmers have completed their work for the day, and all senior villagers gathered at the tea garden, Long's talk began.

"On March 11, the national legislature adopted the landmark constitutional amendment, which was not only a big thing for the country but also a move that would affect us all," Long said, to enable the senior villagers to better understand, Long repeated his sentences in the Miao language.

"The People's Republic of China enacted its first Constitution in 1954. The current Constitution was adopted in 1982 and amended in 1988, 1993, 1999, 2004 and 2018," Long said, "For all these years, dramatic changes have taken place in our village, right? So is the whole country. Therefore, we need to amend the constitution to keep up with the changes."

"So the amendment makes the constitution in keeping with the times?" a young farmer said.

"You are right," Long said, for example, this time supervisory commissions have been listed as state organs in the Constitution, which to us means that all our village officials are subject to the supervision and there will be no room for corruption.

Long emphasized topics which are in close relationship with the villagers.

"The 19th Party Congress raised the idea of rural revitalization, but what shall we do exactly? We shall keep tidy, protect our environment and continue plant tea trees. We shall take a lead in the rural revitalization project, do we have the confidence? " Long asked.

"Yes," the villagers said.

An hour passed, applause occurred several times during the speech. It is hard to imagine, 10 years ago, the annual per capita income of the village was less than 800 yuan.

Today, with the tea industry and tourism, the average income of Niujiaoshan village reached over 6,000 yuan. The village has built up its fame in producing tea. The tea made in Guzhang County were exported overseas.

The county now has about 1,000 ha of tea gardens. From 2014, nearly 20,000 people escaped poverty thanks to the tea industry.

"The prefecture is striving to build nearly 70,000 ha of tea gardens so as to build a multi-billion yuan industry," said Ye Hongzhuan, prefecture Party secretary.