Chongqing works to create jobs for gorges migrants

By Sun Yuqing (
Updated: 2007-04-21 13:22

Wang Yang, secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is interviewed by reporters from major news websites in Chongqing April 19, 2007. [ Yuqing]
Chongqing -- The unemployment rate in Three Gorges Reservoir Area remains as high as 10.4 percent, and the Chongqing Municipality will take measures to solve the problem in five years, said Wang Yang, secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), April 19, 2007.

Wang explained that the Three Gorges Project has led to the relocation of 1.02 million people in Chongqing, making it one of the most challenging issues in the world.

As there are about 100,000 people having to move out of the reservoir area and getting resettled, the municipality has began to focus on the employment issues and ensure more people to share the achievements of Chongqing's industrialization.

"The year 2006 marked a turning point since the unemployment rate dropped from 12.8 percent by 1.86 percent for the first time," said Wang during a joint interview with China's major websites. "There are still difficulties ahead, but we are carrying a series of measures to improve the life of Three Gorges migrants."

He said that the government aggressively promotes the vocational training to improve migrants's skills and try to realize the aim that at least one member from a migrant family receives the vocational training in five years. A document released by the government also reported that 118,000 migrants received the free training in 2006 and 8,148 students from poor migrant families.

Wang analyzed the job challenges with a historical perspective by recalling his visit to Three Gorges in 1997. "I wonder how people live on the rough natural conditions, such as the high mountains along the Yangtze River."

He said the municipality is very confident to gradually create job opportunities and improve the migrants' lives with the strong support from the central government and other provincial governments.

In 2006, Chongqing established cooperation relations with Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Fujian Province and Guangdong Province and planned to export 100,000 labor forces to those regions in five years.

Besides the export of labor services, Chongqing successfully organized the annual trade fair specially for Three Gorges Reservoir Area in the past three years and attracted many companies from developed regions to open branches in Three Gorges Reservoir Area.

More than a million people, who mainly lived in 20 counties of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and central China's Hubei Province, were moved to make way for the Three Gorges Dam Project which submerged their lands.

Speaking at a national conference on the country's coordinated support of the Three Gorges area held in December 2006, Premier Wen Jiabao said other provinces and regions should do more to help resettle people who were displaced by the reservoir.

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