Behind Chinese Leader’s Warm Visit, a Cold Reality

SHENSHAN VILLAGE, China — Sharing snacks with a ruddy-faced farming couple as a portrait of Mao Zedong presides from their mantel. Pounding rice into a doughy holiday treat with a giant wooden mallet. Warmly shaking hands with an elderly woman as an enthusiastic crowd gathers.

Those were some of the images of President Xi Jinping as he swept into this village for his annual Lunar New Year pilgrimage to meet with ordinary Chinese.

The bucolic scenes, shown on Chinese state television, cast Mr. Xi as a paternal leader in the footsteps of Mao, at home with the rustic virtues that once made this mountainous region of southeast China a birthplace of the Communist Party’s rural revolution.

But those images conflict with contemporary reality here. Within days, this struggling community of 250 souls will be nearly empty.

Text: The New York Times by Chris Buckly FEB. 19, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s