The Poverty of Plenty by Xiaoqiang Wang, Nanfeng Bai (auth.)

By Xiaoqiang Wang, Nanfeng Bai (auth.)

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Sales of buttons alone were worth over 20 million yuan in 1982. Xianxiang commune in Xianxiang district, Rui'an county manufactures shoes with plastic soles and manmade uppers. In 1982 output 30 The Poverty of Plenty value was 5 million yuan. At present, all 14 of the commune's brigades are engaged in shoe production, and there are four brigades in which 80 per cent of all households are employed in this way. In 1979 four of the Xianxiang brigades maintained a perilous day-to-day existence by living off yam beans for months on end, but by 1982 481 commune member households possessed over 700 sewing machines, producing 4 million pairs of shoes and earning a profit of 600 000 yuan.

Most peasants simply did not know that there was such a thing as state aid. Zhongdong production team from Zongdi commune in Ziyun county, consists of 16 households comprising 63 people, all of whom for generations have lived in dark, sunless caves. They wash neither themselves nor their clothes, and their drinking water comes from cave seepage. 06 hectares) are 242 catties (121 kilograms), while the swift, long-bristled skinny pigs they raise weigh under 90 catties (45 kilograms) at most. When the local people's congress heard about this they spent 30 000 yuan on building houses so that the inhabitants could move out of their caves.

The Inner Mongolia-Xinjiang Region As well as possessing the two largest areas of natural pastureland in China, Inner Mongolia has coal reserves which rank second nationwide, and the region provides 98 per cent of the country's rare earths, equivalent to 400 per cent of all other reserves worldwide. Xinjiang's white mica, serpentine and 'Khotan jade' also rank foremost nationwide, and the region possesses 117 of the 147 different proven mineral reserves to be found in China. Accumulated oil and gas reserves in the Junggar Basin top 8000 million tons at least.

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