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‘Brother Yale’ part of the clan [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-10-21 14:01:22 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sansukong at 2013-10-21 13:13

Brother Yale’ part of the clan

Global Times | 2013-10-18 9:28:02

By Liang Chen

Qin Yuefei receives the Most Beautiful Village Official award on a China Central Television program on October 13. Photo: CFP

A 26-year-old Yale graduate has accomplished more in government as a village official than many of his colleagues twice his senior, but the award-winning official who has finally won the trust of most of his constituents did not get off to an easy start back in 2011.

US Ivy League graduate Qin Yuefei has over the past two years moved mountains in the rural village of Hengyang, Hunan Province, building a water conservatory to help villagers increase production capacities and income, mending village roads to improve transportation and avenues for trade and establishing a distance-education platform to allow primary and middle school students in the remote area to reach their full potential.

And all of this, Qin has accomplished in the past two years, with villagers entrusting him with more than 800,000 yuan ($131, 200) of raised funds from nongovernmental organizations and government organs, which are dedicated to providing financial aid to China's rural areas.

An Internet sensation today, the 2013 Most Beautiful Village Official winner has won praise for his tremendous work in the community from villagers and even his peers, who once looked down on his choice to take up the position far less enviable than the posts they landed at top banks, law firms or government departments upon their return home from school abroad.

Making it work

But there was a time when Qin, who graduated on a full scholarship degree in economics and political science in 2011, was nearly shut out by the village he serves. When he first arrived, no one wanted to trust the clean-cut, well-dressed young man who had just come back with a flashy Ivy League diploma. He knew his work would be cut out for him - and in a way that would be different from the long hours that his parents, who worked factory jobs in his hometown of Chongqing to give him everything they could, had persevered for his brighter future.

"So I took the job because I know how hard people like my parents have fought for a better life and I wanted to help others in rural areas pursue happiness too," he told the Global Times.

But bonding with the villagers who first looked at Qin as an outsider was some of the hardest work ever, he said.

He eventually earned the nickname "Brother Yale" from fellow villagers, after much patience and determination, even a transformation of his city slicker ways - to convince the villagers that he was "just like them, and always looking out for their best interests."

To persuade them to accept him, he used the "When in Rome" approach, behaving just as the villagers did. He stopped taking baths twice a day, a habit he grew accustomed to during his time at Yale - after villagers began suspecting that Qin washed so frequently because he was afraid to get a little dirty.

He picked up the habit of offering cigarettes to male villagers when he would run into them on the street, and even learned how to place smokes behind his ears upon accepting the sticks of tobacco from others. When he chatted with the other men, he squatted like they did, speaking to them at the same level, never looking down on them.

His fashion sense went from stylish jeans and printed tops to plain T-shirts and fabric shoes, similar to the down-to-earth threads worn by the villagers.

"In fact, if my shirt had a gaudy print on it or was a garish color, I would wear it inside out," he said.

To be continued..........


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Post time 2013-10-21 14:02:07 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sansukong at 2013-10-21 13:05


Brother Yale’ part of the clan

Notable achievements

After the villagers began warming to him, their support made it much easier for Qin to get things done around town. His first major achievement, the construction of a water conservatory facility for villagers, came at the end of his first six months on the job.

The milestone project has since vastly improved conditions for the farming community during the dry season - when irrigation troubles cause some of the worst harvests and have typically made for some very tough economic times for villagers in the past two decades. Other notable figures have also expressed gratitude for his work. Among them is the town's village secretary, Hu Chuanjia.  

"I've been a village official for decades, but I haven't been able to fix the irrigation system for our village," he said. "Qin did this and I admire all that he has done for us."

The result for Qin, who has since carried out a number of other projects to help the community, is that he no longer hurries past villagers giving him the cold shoulder. In fact, he can hardly make it through town without someone slipping him a handful of eggs, cooking oil or some other token of appreciation. And nowadays, Qin is commonly the go-to for villagers in need of help, whether it be a problem as small as a broken water-heater or a farmer looking for an extra set of hands.

"I never expected to have the chance to do so many things or learn from so many people," he said. "But I did."

"As long as you want to change society for the better, and you have the will to do it and not give up, you can do almost anything - empty talk leads nowhere," he said, adding that he encourages more educated youth to take a similar grassroots approach to help people across the country.

Yet despite all of his accomplishments in the village, Qin said that he is most proud of being appointed as a deputy to the People's Congress last year. In his electoral district, 85 percent of the 3,547 voters circled his name.

"The voters supported me and this shows how much they trust me," he said. "Knowing that made me feel happier than I did when I received my offer from Yale."

Honoring his responsibilities since his appointment to the post, Qin has been vocal on a number of issues, even proposing a bill during the Two Sessions to promote school bus safety in rural areas following the tragedy of an overloaded school bus in Jiangxi Province last year, in which 11 children died.

Though he has had to deal with skeptical people, accusing him of either wasting his time and talent on a petty job or of being from an influential family which has paved the way for his political climb, Qin has been able to set it all aside.

"I'm not here to argue," he said. "I'm here to get things done and people can see that - that's all the proof they need to know what I'm all about."

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Post time 2013-10-22 05:34:39 |Display all floors
Xi urges overseas-educated talents to contribute to Chinese dream
Xinhua | 2013-10-21 16:17:22
By Agencies

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called on overseas-educated talents to contribute to realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, whether they are at home or abroad.

Xi made the remarks at the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Western Returned Scholars Association.

The government supports students and scholars studying abroad, encourages them to return to China, guarantees them the freedom of coming and going, and supports them in using their talents, Xi said while addressing the ceremony attended by about 3,000 people.

The Communist Party of China and the government respect the choices of the students, Xi said. "You are warmly welcome if you return to China. If you stay abroad, we support you in serving the country in various ways."

Xi said he hoped the students would remain patriotic, integrating their own achievement with national development.

Scholars are encouraged to use their advantages to promote exchange between China and other countries so that China can gain more understanding and support from the world, he said.

It has been more than 100 years since China began to send students and scholars to study abroad. They have made great contributions to the revolution, building and reform of China.

In 1978, China expanded the number of students sent to study abroad. By the end of 2012, 2.64 million had been sent abroad, among whom 1.09 million returned.

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