Xiadang village in Fujian Province has been turned into a CCP base to promote President Xi’s personality cult and indoctrinate people.
by An Xin
Xiadang village in the township by the same name in Shouning county, administered by Ningde city in the southeastern province of Fujian, was brought to fame because President Xi Jinping had visited it three times in 1989 and 1996, long before he became China’s top leader. Over the years, the village has become an important Chinese Communist Party base.
The president and the Communist Party are ubiquitous in the village. From slogans “Be Grateful to President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party,” “Be Grateful to the General Secretary and Forge Ahead into a New Era,” and “Obey and Follow the Party” to songs played on loop throughout the day on loudspeakers, like “Without the Communist Party, There Would Be No New China” and “I Love You, China.” Many of these songs come from the Chairman Mao era when everyone had no choice but to worship and revere the communist leader. Like President Xi now.
“The government wants everyone to support Xi Jinping,” one of the visitors commented.
The house where Xi Jinping used to work and rest during his first visit to Xiadang village has been turned into an exhibition hall. Beside numerous propaganda materials about the president’s three trips to Xiadang township, the exhibition also features the furniture and utensils the president used and even a hat he wore.
Students and CCP cadres from across the country come to Xiadang for classes on patriotism and devotion to the Party. “My workplace sent a group of us here to study and write reports about our experience, which we will have to share with our colleagues. This is a political task,” a Party member working at a state-run enterprise explained, visibly not excited about the time he has to spend in the village.
The videos shown in the village’s exhibition hall propagate President Xi’s achievements and contributions to Xiadang township, which used to be one of the four most poverty-stricken townships in Ningde prefecture but supposedly flourished under Xi Jinping’s governance. According to the information given to visitors, because the average annual income per capita in 2019 has reached 13,000 RMB (about $ 1,970), it means that the Xiadang township “has been completely lifted out of poverty.”
However, Xiadang township residents have different opinions. “These numbers are false, fabricated by the local government to report their work performance,” a township resident said. “This is poverty alleviation in statistics only. We have meagre sources of income in our region, primarily from growing tea. State funds never reach us because the local government spends them on vanity projects and doesn’t care about people’s lives at all. The Communist Party’s slogans about ‘seeking happiness for the people’ are just lies.”
“The government proclaims that Xiadang township residents have been lifted out of poverty, while in reality, the majority have not,” another township resident explained. “The annual income for our family of six is just over 10,000 RMB [about $1,500], earned from running a stall selling tea. The government has requisitioned most of our land to develop tourism projects, leaving us with no possibility to earn a decent living.”
“The government has gone too far propagating false information about their work performance,” a third resident added. “Several government representatives wrote a fake report about the township being lifted out of poverty. We were all disgusted hearing these lies. The slogans expressing thanks to President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party don’t reflect the true thoughts of residents; they are the government’s propaganda.”
A new education base for Party members from across the province, consisting of classrooms, dormitories, and a dining hall, is being built in Xiadang village. According to a local source, the government has already spent over one hundred million RMB (about $ 15,136,000) on the project.