No water supply for guaranteed housing Shaanxi fakes poverty eradication in the face of Xi Jinping

Less than six months after Communist Party President Xi Jinping announced that China had achieved a “miracle on earth” by eradicating poverty, CCTV Finance revealed that the poverty eradication in Luonan County, Shaanxi Province, was a sham, with no water available for the housing of the poor households on the record, and that the faucets were only decorative items. However, Shaanxi Province still insists that the procedure of poverty removal is in line with the requirements. Why is the formalism of China’s officialdom always “hard to correct mistakes”?

The two-story concrete house is empty because not only is there no toilet on the second floor, but the faucet is turned on and no water flows. For a gray-haired old man Leng Yin surnamed in the village of Lingkou Town, Luonan County, Shaanxi Province, this is why the appearance of a stable resettlement house, he is not used to live at all, moved into the old brick hut kindly lent to him by neighbors.

“Three days, just live for three days to go back, (reporter asked: why?) Feel inconvenient, no water.” The question-and-answer session between Leng and the CCTV reporter, broadcast on CCTV’s financial channel, has punctured the illusion of China’s so-called “total poverty eradication”.

In Luonan County, Shaanxi Province, Master Leng faced the dilemma of having no running water in his house, not an isolated case.

Leng Yin, a “five-guarantee household” in Shaanxi, answers a question from a CCTV reporter (video screenshot/CCTV)

“The fact is that there is no water, so what is safe? You have to pull the water yourself, so what is the safety of drinking water? The top to make a form, just give you this piece of paper a sticker.” Cheng Linjun of the same village pointed to the blue plastic square-shaped sign and a mottled A4 paper on the door of his adobe house. In the CCTV footage, “drinking water safety understanding card” is the village officials came to put on, to the top of the account.

Cheng Linjun told the camera that he understood in his heart that this is the formalism of the Chinese officialdom, but everyone knows the problem, but for so many years it can not be solved.

Breaking the Chinese Communist Party’s Official Formalism Reform = Death of the Party

Hu Ping, editor-in-chief of Beijing Spring magazine, who now lives in the United States, told the station that the spread of formalism in official circles, something that has been said a million times, is not unknown to Zhongnanhai, but for power and responsibility to match, it is necessary to change the structure of the sources of power and for the CCP to revolutionize itself, how is this possible?

“He certainly knows that the only way to solve this bureaucracy, formalism, the only way is to reform the political system, so that the power of officials at all levels from the people’s mandate, so that let the people directly monitor, reflect the problem can be improved, but of course he is not willing to take this step.” Hu Ping said.

Covered without running water in the housing is not a new problem, Hu Ping then said, Xi Jinping a decree to promote the toilet revolution, the bottom of the people in order to meet the leadership requirements, installed a modern toilet but can not flush, this kind of Chinese officialdom on the formalism abound.

Central-level media monitoring local officials do not eat this

The goodness and efficiency of governance is also tested in democratic countries. But in normal democratic countries, the fourth power of the media will react to public opinion and problems and can solve problems more efficiently, however, this time, CCTV’s report also failed to change the culture of officialdom from the province to the county and village in Shaanxi.

Shaanxi Province, Luonan County Water Resources Bureau officials: it is impossible to pick (water) for so many years, you investigate clearly not clear well? Impossible, so many years without water to eat how do you think the masses survive?

Reporter: buy water a bucket of 50 yuan do you know?

Officials: do not know.

In addition to the shame of not knowing, in the CCTV report, the reporter filmed the phone was once snatched away, the official also scolded the reporter you are a relative of whose family?

A Chinese CCTV reporter was asked: “Who is your relative” while investigating poverty alleviation in Shaanxi. (Video screenshot/CCTV)

In great contrast to this is the national summing up and commendation conference on poverty alleviation earlier this year, where Xi Jinping said, “All of them have achieved two without worrying about three guarantees, and the people who have escaped from poverty do not worry about food or clothing; compulsory education, basic medical care, housing security are guaranteed, and drinking water safety is also guaranteed.”

The Shaanxi provincial government’s approach, of course, makes Xi Jinping’s poverty eradication achievements lose face, but the latest response from the local government still does not admit to “deceiving the top” in poverty eradication work.

Shaanxi Provincial Government Information Office on April 26 in the official microblogging “Shaanxi release” informed that the two poor households in the two villages involved in the report “in line with the requirements of poverty removal”, to “two not worry, three guarantees The report said that the two villages involved in the poverty alleviation procedures “meet the requirements of poverty elimination” and meet the standards of “two no worries, three guarantees”; the problems of low level of safe drinking water security, seasonal water shortage, low level of management and care, and lax and unrealistic style of officials do exist.

This briefing closed the comment function.

Hu Ping said, “The hierarchical authorization system of the Chinese Communist Party, the power of each level of officials from the upper authorization, the upper level mostly only listen to reports, as long as the lower level materials written beautifully to pass. Then the officials at the top are not serious and have no interest in caring about the implementation at the lower levels, and this is the result.”

Is it true that “total poverty eradication” is a reality? (Photo by Radio Free Asia)

Rural issues are China’s real challenge

According to a report by People’s Daily Online, Shaanxi announced last October that all 56 poor counties had been lifted out of poverty, and that overall regional poverty had been basically solved. The province’s poor population in Shaanxi was reduced from 2,298,800 at the end of 2015 to 183,400 at the end of 2019, and the poverty incidence rate dropped to 0.75 percent.

And drinking water safety is in the “three guarantees” of housing security, Xi Jinping repeatedly mentioned this issue.

The villagers in Shaanxi Province, as reported by CCTV, had to buy battery-powered cars and travel two hours across the province to Henan to get water.

In Shaanxi Province, Xi’s hometown, Luonan County is located in the remote southern Qinling Mountains, which was once a national poverty-stricken county until February 2020, when it was declared out of poverty.

Scott Rozelle, a senior researcher at Stanford University who has been following China’s rural development for years, published Invisible China last year, exclaims, “China’s hukou system makes an unbreakable line between rural and urban residents. China’s rural problems are where China’s real challenges lie.”

What is the difficulty in improving the governance capacity of rural areas and townships? Yang Hua, a researcher at Wuhan University’s School of Social Sciences, pointed out in an article titled “Why the Formalism of Grassroots Governance – Rethinking Governance from the Relationship of Township Functionaries” that the key lies in the mismatch between the “responsibility and power” hierarchy, and The “one chess” model.

Hu Ping said that China often “politicizes” everyday matters that require lasting governance. In the case of poverty eradication, Xi Jinping was so eager to meet the target by 2020 that he gave the order to eradicate poverty, and that was the result.

After a full celebration of the poverty alleviation conference, the problem of water for Master Leng and the villagers has still not been solved, and the case of falsification of poverty in Shaanxi is the last case? Time will test everything.

Shaanxi Provincial Party Secretary is now Liu Guozhong and Governor Zhao Yide. Zhao Yide, a former member of Xi Jinping’s staff in Zhejiang, became the youngest “head” of the CCP’s provincial government last year.