To reach the goal of no impoverished households by the end of 2020, CCP forces villagers with no skills or income to move to cities after their homes are destroyed.
by Han Sheng
Official media across China continuously report the “good news” about the reduced numbers of impoverished counties where residents have been “successfully lifted out of poverty.” Bitter Winter has repeatedly debunked the CCP’s poverty alleviation program as yet another President Xi Jinping’s vanity project. We recently received a few more cases of how the totalitarian government ruins people’s lives in the name of poverty alleviation.
Eight impoverished households in a village in Ruzhou, a county-level city administered by Pingdingshan city in the central province of Henan, were provided 90-square-meter apartments in urban areas. No resources, however, were given to the families to furnish and equip their new lodgings. Moreover, the primary source of income for residents in this mountainous village has been collecting wild fruits and rearing cattle. Because members of all these families don’t have professions or skills for urban settings, have no money to move into their new homes, and survive without sufficient income, they decided to stay in the village.
But not for long. In response to the central government’s call to accelerate the poverty alleviation campaign, the authorities demolished these eight households’ homes in April.
After their house was demolished, the family of a 91-year-old villager, whose son and daughter have mental disabilities, had to move into a cave-dwelling next to a cowshed. The smell from the shed is so strong that it permeates their lodgings, and sometimes, cow urine seeps under the old woman’s bed through the wall. The family prepare their food on an open fire outside, even on rainy days under an umbrella.
“We would not be able to sustain our living if we moved to the city,” the nonagenarian lamented. “Without much income, we would have to pay for utilities and other expenses associated with urban life. My son can do nothing but herd the cattle. How are we to survive?”
Local officials promised another villager that her house would be spared the demolition, but as soon as she left home on April 11, police officers and workers came to level it to the ground. She rushed to her house when she heard the news and stood in front of an excavator to prevent the demolition. But a police officer pushed her away and threatened to detain her if she continued to protest. “I’d rather die under the excavator,” the villager cried. “The government is forcing us to a dead end. Where am I supposed to sleep now?”
A village secretary from the Ruzhou area told Bitter Winter that the poverty alleviation campaign should be completed by the end of 2020. “The central government aims to eliminate all impoverished counties in China,” the official commented. “If a village remains poor, it means that the policy has not been implemented.” He added that poverty alleviation teams are stationed in villages to ensure that all orders are carried out. Village officials must ensure the success of this campaign, hoping to be promoted if they do, and fearing to be held accountable if they don’t.
Some villagers from Juancheng county in the prefecture-level city of Heze in the eastern province of Shandong were also forced to relocate to urban areas. In some cases, people were ordered to move out of their homes in three days. Many items were buried in the rubble because residents had no time to take them out before the swift demolitions.
Disregarding people’s complaints, local officials went on with the demolitions and falsely reported in the media that all families lived happily in new apartments. On December 8, three China Central Television reporters came to Juancheng county to report on the “successful” campaign. According to an informed source, town government employees and village officials forced some villagers to say that they were “satisfied with the move to their new homes” during live interviews. The villagers were coached by officials who forced them to rehearse what they have to say before they spoke to the journalists.
One of the interviewed persons later confessed that what he had said was a lie. “I don’t like my new home,” the man admitted. “We have to spend money the moment we open our eyes in the morning. In the village, we used to fetch water from a well and cooked rice with firewood that we collected. Now, we have to pay for water when we flush the toilet or for electricity when cooking rice. It’s so unusual for village people, and we have no income. It was easy to survive in the village without much money. I benefit from nothing in the new home.”
An elderly villager who was forced to move to an urban area said that she is jailed in her new home because it is difficult for her to move around. “I’m afraid of falling when I’m outside,” the woman complained. “I just sit all day doing nothing, waiting to die. I have no choice.”