Xi Focus-Closeup: The name of the plum

2022-03-02 16:43:00 | From:Xinhua

Mi Xuemei, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, inspects clothes at the workshop of Xiahu Shijia Garment Company in Zhongshan, Guangdong province. [Photo/People's Daily]

"Your experience is just like your name," President Xi Jinping told Mi Xuemei after hearing her story at an annual session of China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, to which they are both deputies.

"Xuemei," Mi's given name, is a literal translation of the two characters for "snow and plum." If Chinese people hear this combination, it immediately conjures up images of plum blossoms, blooming in the snow. The hardy fruit is renowned for flowering amid the bitter winter months.

Throughout her life, Mi has been as resilient as her namesake flower. She came from a poor rural family in northwest China. At 22, Mi joined the country's hundreds of millions of migrant workers who leave the countryside behind for jobs in the city. Her destination of choice was Guangdong Province, an industrial hub in south China.

Initially employed as a security guard, over 20 years, she worked her way up to department director at an enterprise in the city of Zhongshan. There, she was elected an NPC deputy. Despite her achievements over the years, Mi still remembers where she came from.

"I was especially touched by one sentence in particular in your New Year Address -- happiness is achieved through hard work," Mi said to Xi when he joined deputies from Guangdong at the NPC session in 2018.

In response, the president quoted a classic Chinese verse, "Fragrant plum blossoms in the bitter cold," to summarise Mi's journey.

Mi might be happily settled in Zhongshan with her family, but she still thinks of herself as a migrant worker and prides herself on understanding dreams and struggles of migrant workers.

In her role as an NPC deputy, she has dedicated herself to representing the rights and beliefs of this social group of over 200 million people. In particular, Mi raised issues such as better access to education for migrant workers' children.

"The issue of education for migrant workers' children, which Mi just brought up, is quite common," Xi told the NPC group deliberation attendees. "While pushing ahead with urbanization construction, we should make every effort to help migrant workers have stable lives -- with their children." He also stressed that rural areas should not be left behind as urbanization gains momentum.

Over the years, Xi has been paying very close attention to the well-being of migrant workers. He wrote to them, visited their workplaces and chatted with them when there was an opportunity.

"When formulating policies, we should put ourselves in the shoes of migrant workers and focus on issues that need our attention and support the most," Xi once said.

China has unveiled its "No. 1 central document" for 2022, outlining essential tasks to comprehensively push forward rural vitalization this year.

Dedicating a part to rural migrant workers, the document called for implementing a package of pro-job policies to help migrant workers stabilize employment and integrate into cities. It also urged the creation of more jobs in the fields of home services, delivery, elderly care and nursery.

More job training was emphasized, as well as better healthcare and pension coverage for migrant workers.

Your Comment


Related News