Until not long ago, people of Atulieer Village, located at an elevation of 1,700 meters in southwest China's Sichuan Province, had to make a perilous journey climbing a rattan and wooden stick ladder to procure simple daily necessities of life, such as a pack of salt.
The ladder was the only way out for the locals. In 2016, photographs of a dozen students in line climbing down the ladder to school went viral, garnering widespread attention.
Atulieer was back in the spotlight this year -- not for its arduous past, but for its prosperous present -- when Yeshe Dawa, a Sichuan political advisor, showed Chinese President Xi Jinping two photographs of a renovated steel ladder and the previous shabby one, respectively, at the ongoing "two sessions."
In late 2016, the local governments earmarked 1 million yuan (about 158,300 U.S. dollars) to renovate the ladder. Months later, a 2.8-kilometer ladder made up of over 6,000 steel bars was erected. Now drones are being utilized to deliver mail, and the village has achieved 5G network coverage.
"It has become a popular tourist destination," the political advisor told Xi, noting that each time he went there, locals would convey their heartfelt gratitude to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Atulieer is not the only region in China that has vanquished isolation and poverty. Thanks to China's resolute poverty alleviation campaign, 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 villages had been removed from the poverty list by the end of 2020, raising more than 770 million people from poverty since its reform and opening up in the late 1970s.
The CPC sees the ultimate achievement of common prosperity as part of the essence of socialism and it is deemed an important feature of the Chinese path to modernization.
If rural prosperity serves as a paradigm of good governance, China is certainly a perfect example. The government, however, believes in adhering to a balanced approach as prosperity must be attained in both urban and rural areas.
This year's government work report placed an emphasis on adhering to the ideology of people-centered development and relying on the efforts of everyone for common prosperity.
SECURING FOOD BOWL
Ensuring food security is critical to overall rural revitalization, as eating is the most fundamental human need, and food is the basic necessity of the people.
Stressing that the hard-won results should be consolidated and expanded, Xi urged against slacking off on the food security issue.
He has called on the country to be well-prepared, to remain vigilant on food security, and adhere to the principle of self-sufficiency based on domestic grain production, guaranteed production capacity, moderate food imports and technological support.
Additionally, China passed an anti-food waste law last year, with the goal of establishing a long-term framework for preventing food waste, which is vital for ensuring national food security.
When participating in a joint group meeting of national political advisors from the sectors of agriculture, welfare and social security at the 2022 "two sessions," Xi emphasized the importance of ensuring the supply of major agricultural products, particularly grain, as well as upgrading the comprehensive capacity for agricultural production.
This year China will also formulate a food security law, and ensuring food security will remain a priority in the country's rural development.
NURTURING TOMORROW'S HOPES
Children are the edifices upon which a nation's future is built, and their quality and personality will determine a country's future trajectory.
Xi has on many occasions stressed improving the health and well-being of children.
At the aforementioned group meeting of national political advisors, Xi noted that the elderly and children in rural areas should be given extra attention and care.
The "double reduction" rules rolled out last year to help ease the burden of excessive homework and off-campus tutoring for young students is another step toward fostering well-rounded development of children and promoting quality education.
According to this year's government work report, China plans to improve the supportive measures for the third-child policy. Care expenses for children under three will be included in the special additional deductions for individual income tax while public-interest childcare services will be developed to ease the burden of raising a family, the report added.
From sowing the seeds of development in the country's farthest corner, nourishing the agricultural basket to nurturing the building blocks of tomorrow, China's endeavor toward building a great modern socialist country takes together every area of society.
In Xi's words: "On the march towards common prosperity, no one will be left behind."