Yimeng Spirit cultivated in old base fosters new life

Linyi city has long been known for its "Yimeng Spirit", a feeling cultivated during the liberation struggle of the 1930s and 40s.

Before the founding of New China, more than 1.2 million of the 4.2 million people living near the Yimeng Mountains made efforts to support the army, which was led by the Communist Party of China, and more than 200,000 of them joined up to fight.

Their spirit of hard work, self-improvement, selflessness and dedication was dubbed the "Yimeng Spirit". Since then, that spirit has inspired generations, and it still shines today in many ways, including in the fight against poverty.

In Linyi, 451,000 people were lifted out of poverty during the period of the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-20), while the average annual net income rose from 2,566 yuan in 2016 to 7,481 yuan in 2019.

Jiujianpeng, a village in Linyi's Pingyi county, was once one of Shandong's poorest settlements as a result of its harsh natural environment. In recent decades, it has seen great changes in both its environment and people's livelihoods.

The village has devised a development pattern based on the growth of tourism, agriculture and medicine. All households in the village now have access to the improved infrastructure, including paved roads and indoor toilets. It has given full play to Pingyi's rich honeysuckle resources, and the county styles itself as China's home of the bloom.

Support will be strengthened through targeted efforts to develop industries, create jobs and improve infrastructure and public services in areas where people have been relocated.

The plain between the Yellow River and its dikes is prone to flooding, especially in July and August, which has lowered crop yields and necessitated expensive repairs to farmers' houses.

Now, more than 600,000 people who lived on the flood plain in the province have been relocated to new communities in safer locations that feature recently built workshops, kindergartens, community service centers and schools.