Interviewee: Wang Xianping (nickname: Heizi), born in October 1951, Yanchuan County, Wen'an Yi Liangjiahe village. The educated youth returning home and the villagers went to Wen’an Yi commune to take Xi Jinping and other educated youths from Beijing back to the Liangjiahe. He served as Yanchuan County Traffic Police Brigade deputy In February 1971 and retired in April 2013.
采 访 组：本报记者 邱然 黄珊 陈思等
Interview group: News reporter Qiu Ran, Huang Shan, Chen Si, etc.
Interview date: February 26, 2016
Interview place: Liangjiahe village committee, Yanchuan County, Shanxi Province
Interview group: A batch of educated youths from Beijing came here 40 years ago. You and more than ten members of the village walked from the Liangjiahe to Wen'an Yi and took the fifteen educated youth back to the village, including Xi Jinping. Please tell me about the first time you saw him.
Wang Xianping: the batch of educated youth left Beijing in January 13, 1969, and arrived at our Wen'an Yi commune in January 16th (that is, Yanan, Yanchuan, Wen'an, Shaanxi province). We were afraid that they had too much luggage, so we sent more than a dozen of persons to pick them up. Arriving at Wen'an Yi, we saw that the educated youth got down from the big truck, the villagers helped them with moving down the luggage. At that time, the head of the county and community took a list, the educated youth were allocated. Our brigade (now the administrative village) had fifteen members, of which four female educated youth, eleven male educated youth, including Jinping. He was tall and skinny, we didn’t know his name at that time. We had a meal in the commune which included a big stew, corn dumpling. After dinner, the educated youth will be picked up by their own the brigades.
When we start to set out,, we helped the youth to move their luggage and found out that there were two quite heavy boxes, an old brown box and a leather suitcase. All of them looked very old and obscure. We all felt strange, and said, "why are they so heavy? Whose suitcasesI are they?"
Jinping said: " they are mine. "
We did not know the name of Jinping, the first impression of him was a tall and young man with two heavy boxes. Then, we carried our luggage and led the educated youth back to the village.
40 years ago, the ditch into the Liangjiahe was a very hard way to go. It was a winding trail leading to the mountains at a narrow place. How narrow was the road? Two wheels shelf car could not go through. The Liangjiahe village was that remote and multi blocked.
At village, we divided the educated youth into two teams. Team one got nine people and stayed in front of the village. Team two got six people and stayed behind the village. Jinping, he was in the second team, and his cave-house was close to my home.. The village sent a cook for the educated youth at that time. A few months later, they basically learned how to light a fire, and they began to cook by themselves.
At first, they didn't cook well, but they had to eat . At that time, it was very hard, they basically couldn’t eat meat and their food had little oil. But they didn’t care about the taste of the food because of hunger. It was a good life if you could eat enough.
Interview group: after Xi Jinping joined the Party and was elected as the Party branch secretary of the group by Liangjiahe people. Please tell me what he did when he served as the Party branch secretary.
Wang Xianping: after Jinping got the job, the first thing he did was to lead the commune members built a silt dam in the village.
In the beginning of people didn't support the plan. Because the dam was in a gully， which was on the only way to the village. In the rainy season, the rainwater of the entire valley would gather here. Upon the rainstorm, the amount of rain water will reach the minimal level. At that time, the vegetation on the mountain was sparse and the soil couldn't keep moisture. The problem of water and soil loss was very serious at the Loess Plateau . During rainy days, the water amount will be extraordinarily large. So, the dam built in this place would face the high intensity shock of torrential flood.
At that time, the villagers in Liangjiahe expressed their opinion, they said “that General Secretary Xi Jinping wanted to build a large dam to grow more grains, is a great thing. But if the dam collapses by the large amount of rain water during the rainy season, it would waste manpower and money. We can’t do this if it is doomed to be a fiasco!” For hundreds of years, no dam was built in this place. Most villagers here were conservative, and they believe that the thing could not be fulfilled by our ancestors would never be done by our generation either. Therefore, most of them did not support.
But Jinping is determined to build the dam, he not only conducted ideological work from door to door but also asked me for help. He said to me: “Heizi, you've serving as the director of our village for years, so most villagers would trust you. I need your to help me do some ideological work..”
Of course, I wanted to help Jinping, but I really didn’t have any faith in building this dam either. I replied: “of course, I would help you , but can the dam really be built? The water flow at that location is really violent, and the flood can wash away the dam in summer. "
Jinping said: “I have thought of it. If we block the water on the side of the river mouth, and reinforce the other side of the dam ,and to deepen and dredge some parts of the natural river, it would finally form a large flood discharge trench. As long as the flood discharge trench can withstand the maximum amount of water in summer, the security of the dam would be guaranteed.Let’s be focused on the construction carefully and guarantee the quality.As long as this dam built well, we can make large fields of grains from this place to our village.”
By considering the terrain there, and taking his plan into careful consideration, I thought what he said is meaningful and agreed.
Jinping asked me: " Heizi, why our village is so poor? Why we often suffer from hunger or starvation? That’s because the fertile land is quite few and far between. Once the dam is built, a large area of field will be formed. From then on, the generation after generation in Liangjiahe will benefit from it. We must fulfill it no matter how hard it is. "
I said, "Jinping, we can do it. I will help you persuade the villagers. "
Then,I went to Wen'anyi Commune and made a phone call to the workplace. I told the leader that, "I will be back one or two days later, because I have something to deal with in the village."
After that, I went to see the senior villagers who opposed strongly and did the ideological work on them. Besides, I also shared them Jinping’s plan to them on how to reinforce and how to control the flood. I said: “dam-failure by flood might happen, but if we build the flood discharge trench very well, the security of the dam can be definitely guaranteed."
I also advised him, “See, Jinping has always been reliable and he never acts recklessly. Although he is not a native, he is our secretary and looks after us. He works very hard day and night, guides us at work and makes the most contributions. When he goes back home, he has to wash clothes and makes dinner all by himself, it’s not easy. Nowadays, he manages everything in the village, and it’s much harder than before. He could give up on advocating us to build the dam, so as to avoid the trouble. You know, it would be pretty hard to guide villages to build the dam, why he is so determined to fulfill it? What does he aim for？ He just wants us to have sufficient food and solve the problems of hunger and starvation. In the future, we can harvest more grains and store extra grains, so that we can all lead a better life. As the senior in the village, you are reputable, so you must support him to fulfill the task. "
These old villagers were touched by my words gradually. They nodded and said: "Jinping is a reliable boy. What he does is really for the benefits of the village. He is knowledgeable and knows more than us. We have no objection now.."
During that time, Jinping had been doing ideological work on the villagers. Besides, with my help, most of the villagers agreed with the plan. Although there were few people who disagreed, it did not affect the general situation. In this case, the construction of large-scale dam is started in full swing. The dam is large in scale and project quantity, so it needs quite a lot of manpower. All the villagers tried their great efforts and finally built the dam.
During the construction of the dam, Xi Jinping contributed whole passion and energies. He worked from dawn to dusk. As we say now, it is the 7/24 working mode. He put all his energies on this project. He asked for faster process and high quality, especially the high quality at the key positions of flood attacks, which are strongly fortified. He not only directed on the front line, but also labored with the villagers there. Shoveling, ramming, moving and laying large stones and building embankment, he did all the things with the villagers side by side. So, everyone was highly motivated, and the construction process was quick.
After the dam was built, it was indeed quite strong enough, and summer flood can flow smoothly from the flood discharge trench. During the rainy season, Xi Jinping would pay great attention to the maintenance and protection of the dam, and strictly supervise the flood draining management in flood season, so this dam was very strong. Large tracts of land at the top of the dam have been made to plant grains. Now, they are still producing food. A few years after Jinping left the village, a part of the dam was washed away due to the lack of management and maintenance and the fierce flood at that year. After that, the villagers restored the damaged part. Now, the dam we see is the same as it was in the 1970s. The land at the top of the dam is the best, the most flat land in Liangjiahe; besides, it is also the land most convenient for irrigation here.