Anji village reaps rewards from green development
Hu Bin didn't expect that he would ever come back to Yucun village in Anji county, Zhejiang province, his hometown and also the place he had left behind to run a business.
The first thing Hu did after school every day was to wipe away a thick layer of ash from his desk.
The village's pollution spawned by mining activities and cement factories was so pervasive in the 1990s that Hu had the impression in his childhood that every day the adults came back with "dirty faces".
The serious pollution was the prime reason Hu left his hometown at the age of 20.
Xi'an in Shaanxi province turned out to be his haven. He met his wife and lived comfortably with her there for over 10 years, during which the couple seldom visited Hu's hometown.
It was not until 2017 when a neighbor of Hu's in Xi'an, who had just returned from Yucun, told him about the earth-shaking changes in the village.
An immediate call to his parents reassured Hu of the reality that the former heavily polluted village has emerged as a hit rural attraction for city dwellers.
"The lucid waters and lush mountains had been restored, the dust over the village had disappeared, and the polluting enterprises were replaced by parks and scenic attractions," said Hu in amazement.
Bullish on development prospects in his hometown, Hu after a discussion with his wife made a decision to go back to Yucun to run a homestay business by refurbishing his old house.
The enhanced natural environment, along with factors such as closer transport connectivity, has over the last few years made Yucun more and more popular among tourists from cities like Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing.
Hu revealed that he has quit his job in Xi'an so as to exclusively focus on his homestay, as it now brings in far more than his salary in Xi'an.
Hu's flourishing business exemplifies the dividends Yucun has been reaping from the green development path mapped out by the"Two Mountains" theory.
In 2019, the village received over a million tourists from across the nation. Its revenue that year totaled 279.6 million yuan ($40.52 million), which was an average per capita income of 49,598 yuan, official statistics show.
The homestay run by Hu Bin in Yucun, a village in Anji county, Zhejiang province. [Photo by Xiang Wenjian/chinadaily.com.cn]