Over the years, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who pays great attention to the protection of the Yellow River, has been to all nine provinces and autonomous regions through which the river runs, visiting the river banks on multiple occasions.
On the morning of Oct. 21, 2021, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, walked into Xu Jianfeng’s home in Yangmiao community, in Dongying City in east China’s Shandong Province, where the Yellow River meets the sea.
In the apartment, featuring three bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, Xu showed the general secretary an old photo of an adobe house in which the family used to live.
“My parents often say they had never expected to live in such a good apartment. The change is tremendous, like a dream come true,” Xu said with gratitude.
Speaking to residents in the community square, Xi said that since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, he has been concerned about the relocation of the people living in the Yellow River flood plain.
Many local residents like Xu, whose family formerly resided in the flood plain of the Yellow River, China’s second longest river, had seen their lives and property threatened by disasters including ice-jam floods.
Under the leadership of the CPC, people living in such areas were relocated in the 1970s to houses on an elevated platform along the river embankment. In 2013, a new resettlement project was launched, offering them a more appealing long-term option.
Under the project, three resettlement communities have been completed, including a comprehensive range of facilities, such as kindergartens, nursing homes, clinics, fitness rooms and supermarkets.
In 2016, with a subsidy from the local government, Xu’s family moved to the new apartment.
“The overall relocation and reconstruction is an extraordinary endeavor,” Xi said in the square. “I’m very pleased to learn that you are living and working in contentment.”
Xi went on to say that the CPC works in the service of the people, stressing that harnessing the Yellow River is a matter of great significance.
The ecological environment of the Yellow River basin has long been a concern for Xi. During his 2021 inspection in Dongying, Xi also inspected the wetlands in the Yellow River Delta.
Learning that the local efforts on wetland conservation in recent years had effectively improved the ecological environment, Xi called for continuous efforts to prevent wetland pollution and hunting.
Today, the construction of the country’s first national park featuring coordinated land and marine development is underway in the city, and a series of ecological protection and restoration projects have been rolled out.