A village in the Hunan province is facing deep poverty as it struggles to attract tourism but it believes one small act could change everything.
The power of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his ability to turn people’s fortunes around have been highlighted in a new show.
How China indoctrinates next generation, available to stream on Flash, details how the town of Guanheng, which is in deep poverty, failed to attract tourists without the endorsement of President Xi.
The suburb is home to a monument, the Red Army IOU, a statue that depicts the soldiers of the Long March giving a villager an IOU.
In 1987, a local man received a cash payment of 15,000 yuan ($A3200) from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after he discovered the IOU inside the wall of his house. On the paper, a soldier from the Red Army had written borrowed 5250kg of rice, three pigs and 12 chickens.
The village launched an effort to attract tourism based on the Red Army IOU story. But the story of the Red Army IOU failed to attract President Xi’s attention. Without publicity from China’s President, few tourists have come to the village, highlighting how significant his seal of approval is.
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“We’ve had hardly any tourists for a long time now,” Hu Pingwen, Deputy CCP Secretary of Guanheng said.
“We have the Red Army IOU in Guanheng.
“So why have we remained so poor?
“The higher-ups will not even meet with us to talk about it.
“Because they’re so busy, we can never make contact with them.”
Another tourist attraction was created with a hill, Qing Shi Zhai, outside of the village. The site installed Panda-themed binoculars to appeal to tourists and charge three yuan ($A65 cents) to look through them. The venture generated zero profit for the town.
How China indoctrinates next generation follows one hundred years since the founding of the Communist Party of China, ‘passing on the red gene’ as a powerful new principle in the indoctrination of the people.
It also explores the activities of two local party branches in the Hunan province where the CCP’s history has deep roots.
The program indicates places visited by President Xi gain an economic boost. The head of state’s visits appeal to lots of tourists who follow in his footsteps.
Zhu Xiaohong is a security guard at Half a Quilt Exhibition Hall in Shazhou. In 2017, he turned his family home into a restaurant, catering to tourists visiting in the town.
He is the grandson of Xu Jiexiu, a village woman who received the half quilt from the Red Army.
When President Xi made his inspection tour, he stopped by Mr Zhu’s restaurant and sat at the dining table with Mr Zhu and his family. The world leader urged them to help ensure “the red gene” is passed on from generation to generation.
Since the presidential visit, Mr Zhu’s customer traffic soared as well as his income. He previously made around $US4000 ($A5500) a year.
“Since President Xi visited my home, my income has grown,” the security guard said.
“I expect to make 300,000 yuan this year, 12 times more than before.
Former CCP Secretary of Shazhou Huang Fei said Mr Zhu’s life “changed dramatically” after the leader’s inspection tour.
“He used to have an annual income between 10,000 and 20,000 yuan,” he said.
“Now he’s making 10 times that much.
“So, in a few years, it’ll be 500,000 or 600,000. Then a million. Two million. That’s what he’s imagining.
“People always want more than they have.”