'Diver director' to share concerns

2023-03-05 17:36:38China Daily Editor : Feng Shuang ECNS App Download
Special: Two Sessions 2023

Fu Shanxiang works in his office in Xianglushan community in Chongqing's Wanzhou district. [PHOTO/CHINA DAILY]

Born and raised in the Three Gorges Reservoir area on the Yangtze River, Fu Shanxiang, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, is deeply concerned about local development and has decided to bring a few suggestions to the two sessions in Beijing.

The annual event unveils national policies in areas including the economy, military, trade, diplomacy and the environment.

The National People's Congress, China's top legislature, will start its meeting on Sunday, while the meeting of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body, began on Saturday. Both are held in Beijing every year.

Fu, a 55-year-old community worker from Chongqing's Wanzhou district, will be serving as a lawmaker for the first time this year.

After thorough research and several field visits, he drew up suggestions on how to better assist the development of the Three Gorges Reservoir area, including improving the long-term mechanism of the partner assistance model and enhancing talent exchange with developed areas.

Three decades ago, some 20 cities and counties in Chongqing and neighboring Hubei province, which is known collectively as the Three Gorges Reservoir area, began the mass relocation of residents to enable the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydropower project.

Chongqing relocated 1.12 million people, 86 percent of the total. Wanzhou, a major economic power on the Yangtze River, relocated 263,000.

"In Chongqing, the socioeconomic development of the Three Gorges Reservoir area still lags behind relatively. Due to the lack of infrastructure, the scale of industry is small, and public service capacity is weak," Fu said.

At the same time, the area bears the responsibility of environmental protection, he added.

"I hope that the partner assistance model can be expanded so that we can narrow the gap with developed eastern regions and promote the common prosperity of the Three Gorges Reservoir area."

Since 1992, 50 central government departments and 23 provinces and municipalities have forged partnerships with places in the area, offering financial support and sending special talent to aid their development.

Between 2011 and 2022, the central government set aside 81 billion yuan ($11.72 billion) in special funds for follow-up work on the Three Gorges Reservoir area in Chongqing and implemented 4,479 projects.

Those relocated in the area have made remarkable achievements in stability and prosperity, according to the Ministry of Water Resources. Furthermore, the environment has continued to improve, and the area's geological safety has been guaranteed, the ministry said.

Fu, who is also Party chief of Xianglushan community in Wanzhou, was born and raised in the community. He has dedicated nearly 20 years of his life to serving the community.

In 2004, he gave up his business in the construction industry to become a community worker in Xianglushan.

As a result of his leadership skills, three years later, he was appointed head of his community.

Xianglushan, a historical area in the center of the Three Gorges Reservoir area, is home to the picturesque Xianglu Mountains as well as a centennial street along the Wuqiao River, a tributary of the Yangtze River that passes through the community.

In early 2020, after the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, Fu spent 40 days in a tent guarding a residential block containing several infected patients to make sure that they would stay in quarantine.

Later that summer, the community was hit by severe torrential rains, leading to mudslides and flooding. The ancient street was badly affected.

Fu organized local Party members, volunteers and an emergency rescue team and rushed to the site, where thanks to his outstanding swimming ability, he was able to dive into the water and save a dozen people from flooded homes.

His heroic deeds have won him two nicknames — "tent director" and "diver director" from local residents.

"Serving the people is my job and honor," said Fu, adding that being a deputy now means greater responsibility.

He is planning to launch a project to upgrade the ancient street, including rooting out safety hazards and installing infrastructure.


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