The rural view: Life is good on the Li family farm
Westerns can look at China and see one thing. A farmer like Li Youchuan can look at the village where he’s lived all his life and see something quite different: “I want you to know that we farmers have a good life under the Chinese government, especially with the modification of policy. Our lives have changed a lot, and people are richer and the quality of life has become better, more free.”
In 1978, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping ushered in the era of Gaige Kaifang, or economic reform. With it came a wave of globalization that has engulfed the landscape of traditional China. At the beginning of the reforms, nearly 70 percent of China’s working population was employed in agriculture. Today, only about 50 percent of China’s citizens remain on the farm. In the village of Beishe, in Central China’s Shaanxi Province, the tradition continues.