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City living up to its name for prosperity

Source: Time: 30 09,2022

Precise integrated circuits are manufactured by Zhongke Lu’an Group in Changzhi. Li Ning / For China Daily

The name of the southeastern Shanxi city of Changzhi, which literally means long-term stability and prosperity, has been taken as a suggestion of the aspiration of its people for many centuries.

That aspiration has become a reality over the recent decades thanks to the efforts by local authorities in alleviating poverty, improving the environment and promoting economic development in the area.

The city began its targeted poverty-alleviation campaign about a decade ago, with a focus on moving residents out of places with adverse living conditions and developing farming industries with local characteristics.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the city invested a total of 1.66 billion yuan ($229.74 million) in a relocation campaign that involved moving 30,006 residents from 394 villages to the new settlements.

To help rural residents increase their revenues, the city has fostered eight farming sectors with local characteristics, which include medical herbs, millet, vegetables, fruits, potatoes and edible fungi. As a result, Changzhi was among the first cities in Shanxi to announce the elimination of absolute poverty in February 2020.

Another major booster for the improvement of people's livelihoods is the city's ever-growing economic strength as a result of the development of both traditional and emerging industries.

Local data showed that Changzhi's GDP reached 231.1 billion yuan in 2021, ranking it second in Shanxi province.

The city's steady growth is a result of its industrial transformation, which features upgrading its traditional industries to be more efficient and environmentally friendly, and fostering emerging industries as new development engines.

Coal mining is a traditional industry that Changzhi has devoted much energy to upgrading. At present, more than 70 percent of the coal output is generated by mines with advanced, efficient and clean production facilities.

In 2021, the output value of the city's strategically emerging industries, including advanced manufacturing, semiconductors, electronics, photovoltaic equipment and medicine, registered a 90 percent increase from the level a year ago.

The output value of the city's semiconductor and photoelectronic industries now accounts for about 95 percent of Shanxi's total, while its photovoltaic equipment and medicine sectors take up more than a half of the market share in the province.

With its increasing economic strength, Changzhi is in a better position to improve the living environment for its people. It has carried out a 10-year campaign to green the city since 2012. As a result, the vegetation coverage in Changzhi's urban areas has reached 47.38 percent.

Since last year, Changzhi has launched 620 projects in building urban facilities including roads, parks and environmental protection facilities, making the city a better place for people to live in and do business.

Li Jiaming contributed to this story.