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unbai Railway, a scenic line with diesel trains. They were launched to address the limited access to drin
king water in the area, where the underground water is undrinkable due to complex mineral components.
“Water coming out of the wells used to render us with Kaschin-beck disease, and we treated ev
ery drop of (safe) water like it was oil,” said Zhou Aiqin, another resident at Huojugou.
Running the train all year around is no easy task, especially in winter when temperatures easily dro
p below minus 20 degrees Celsius. Some of the fuel is spent heating the water during the journey to prevent freezing.
“Water often drips onto our clothes and instantly freezes. We cannot bend our arms or legs
and have to move like a gorilla,” said Jia Lin, a veteran worker at the line’s Quanyang station.
Train crew and station workers, like residents along the line, have been attached to
the delivery missions, even as demands have greatly shrunk due to improved water infrastructure and relocation o
f villagers. The trains now run three times a month, down from three times a week, to serve only 300 residents.
“But as long as the demand exists, our small train will keep on running,” said Xin Yuehong, head of Quanyang station.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged civil affairs authorities to focus on poverty alleviation, special groups and issues of public concern to better fulfill their duties.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commis
sion, made the statement in an instruction read at a national civil affairs conference held in Beijing Tuesday.
Editor’s Note: While Boeing struggles with the crisis following the crash of two 737 Max aircraft in
less than half a year, European aerospace heavyweight Airbus inked a record deal during President Xi Jinpin
g’s recent visit to France to sell 300 aircraft to China. Will Boeing‘s struggles prove to be a boon for Chinese airplane manu
facturers, as some media outlets claim? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Liu Jianna. Excerpts follow:
A very long way to go for China
Ning Zhenbo, lead consultant for the Center of Information Technology, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Ltd.
Boeing’s loss does not mean Chinese aircraft manufacturers’ gain, simply because China la
gs far behind the West in the aerospace industry. The fierce competition between Boeing and Airbus, the t
wo aerospace heavyweights, will not have any impact, positive or negative, on China because it is not a player in the field.