Book shows how rural life molded Xi

Updated:2018-05-03 09:15:14

  Liangjiahe, a book about President Xi Jinping's seven years as an "educated youth" in the small village of Liangjiahe in Shaanxi province, was issued by Shaanxi People's Publishing House in Xi'an on Wednesday.

  From 1969 to 1975, Xi lived and worked in the village as part of a campaign launched by Chairman Mao Zedong that asked urban youth to experience life working in rural areas.

  Xi has spoken on several occasions about how he benefited from his experiences working in the small community hidden among the valleys of the Loess Plateau in Yanchuan county.

  "Readers will know how the young Xi Jinping grew up in adversity in this book, acquired knowledge in a cave dwelling, gained spiritual strength and gradually established a firm belief in doing practical work for the people," said Hui Xiping, president of the publishing house.

  The book has been available for 36 yuan ($5.65) at Xinhua Bookstores nationwide since Wednesday. It will be available through online stores soon and will be translated into English this year, the publisher said.

  The nonfiction book, with a total of 102,000 words and 40 pictures, is divided into four parts.

  The first part depicts Xi's deep feelings and concerns for his fellow villagers in Liangjiahe over the past 40 years, including the vivid scenes of his two return trips to the village.

  Part two is about Xi's contribution to the village during his seven years' stay, including how he led local villagers in building a dam and biogas digester and promoting the iron industry, as well as his hardworking attitude and self-cultivation amid adversity.

  Part three explains what Xi's close friends in the village learned from him and how that knowledge influenced their lives.

  The last part describes the tremendous changes in Liangjiahe in the past 40 years, especially the villagers' happy lives in the past five years.

  Chen Li, an editor, said the book took one and a half years to compile and represented the work of about 30 people.

  "We've done thorough research and interview work," she said. "We talked to the villagers and referred to historical materials in libraries and the newspaper at the time to ensure an accurate, vivid and touching story."

  "Sometimes people's memories from 40 years ago are not very clear, so we've checked different sources to ensure the accuracy of every single word," Chen said, adding that the team revised the book 45 times.

  "This book is quite readable, especially for teenagers. They'll see the growth of a great leader in hardship, which is beneficial to their future life," she added.

  Hui, president of the publisher, said he believes the book is of great significance for understanding the formation of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and he expects it will "arouse widespread attention among readers throughout the country".

  Wu Jian, a local resident in his 50s who attended the book's launch on Wednesday, said changes in the little village of Liangjiahe also show China's rural development in the past 40 years of reform and opening-up.