Turning China Green

Source: PEKING REVIEW Vol.1 No.3, March 18, 1958

Transcribed for www.wengewang.org

A million people in the north China province of Shansi, mostly young peasants, are out planting trees all along the course of the Yellow River and its tributary, the Fen River, in their province-It involves a stretch of 1,500 kilometres but the people are set to complete the job before the month is out, so as to secure the banks of the two rivers.

In mountainous Kweichow too, young people have turned out in force to line both banks of the Wukiang, the longest river in the province, with green. In Yenan, base of the Chinese revolution, the people are also going all out. Everyday since the Spring Festival (Feb. 18-20) 3,000 pairs of willing hands have turned to tree-planting and conservancy work in this famed city. The barren hills, near which Chairman Mao Tse-tung and Vice-Chairman Chu Teh made their headquarters during the anti-Japanese war, are being clad with mulberries, cypresses and fruit-trees.

Afforestation, mainly for crops and timber but partly to beautify, is proceeding in all parts of the country. In Tibet, during the first week of March, Tibetan and Han office workers and students planted 140,000 trees in the outskirts of Lhasa. Tree-planting has also started in Shigatse, Chamdo and other Tibetan cities.

Many provinces are planning to fulfil their plans in three to five years, instead of the 10 years originally proposed in the National Programme for Agricultural Development. They are starting with a big push this year. Kiangsu Province, for instance, planted more than 1,300 million trees in two months. Honan, Chekiang, Hunan, and Kweichow (apart from the tree-planting along the Wukiang) and the Kwangs) Chuang Autonomous Region plan to cover 120 counties with greenery this spring. But the record for tree-planting is held by a tiny mountain village in Shansi — Hsiachuangchun — which, with a population of 215, has already planted 946.050 trees this winter. That’s over 4,000 trees per head of population.

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