The Great Wall of Banknotes - Another 'rich' village in China

by fulltimestudent 3 Replies latest social current

  • fulltimestudent

    This picture taken on January 14, 2014 shows villagers waiting before a two-metre-long "money wall" built with cash for their year-end bonus at Jianshe village of Lianshan municipality, southwest China"s Sichuan province

    Villagers in China have built a wall of banknotes worth 13 million yuan ($2.1m: £1.3m) after a massive payout in annual bonuses from their rural co-operative.

    The annual bonus was paid out to 340 households (families) that are members of the village co-operative in Jianshe village, in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, in south western Sichuan Province.

    The co-operative makes its money out of pig farms, cherry orchards, and its investment in four small scale hydropower plants in Sichuan, according to a village official, named Zhu.

    The co-operative is likely to have been among those rural areas that were forced into co-operatives back in Mao Zedong's time.

    I do not know whether a large payout is customary, or the result of increasing emphasis (by the National government) on rural prosperity. However, other villages are reported (from time to time) as being wealthy. For example there are two large villages near Beijing, that are described as wealthy for a combination of factories and food production and one in Jiangsu province, known as 'the weathiest village in China,' where every villager gets a nice house, a car and a good salary. The drawback is that you cant sell or take it away from the village.

    Not all villages are wealthy, though! What's the difference? Difficult to answer that, but I suggest (as usual) that its about the quality of management (leadership)expertise in the village leadership.

    The other interesting thing is that the village is located in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture.

    File:Sichuan subdivisions - Liangshan.svg

    This map shows Sichuan Province overall, with the pinky red section at the bottom indicating Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The work 'Yi' tells us that most of the people in the province are from the Yi people who have lived in the area for a long time.

    The province is located not far from Myanmar, India, Bhutan and the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and the Tibet Autonomous province.

  • doofdaddy

    au·ton·o·mous (ô-tn-ms)adj.

    1. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: an autonomous judiciary; an autonomous division of a corporate conglomerate. 2. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. In what way is Tibet autonomous?

  • fulltimestudent

    A smiling villager receives her bonus - image from China's Ministry Of Agriculture ( )

    The Chinese Yuan (at the moment) is trading at just over 6 yuan to the American dollar.

    I was (out of interest) going to post this chart of the ethnic breakdown in the province - which illustrates just how diverse the people in the area are:

    Ethnic groups in Liangshan, 2010 census [ edit ]
    Yi 2,226,755 49.13%
    Han Chinese 2,155,357 47.55%
    Tibetan 60,679 (2000) 1.49% (2000)
    Mosuo and Mongol 27,277 (2000) 0.67% (2000)
    Hui 18,385 (2000) 0.45% (2000)
    Miao 11,912 (2000) 0.29%
    Lisu 9,121 (2000) 0.22% (2000)
    Buyei 5,459 (2000) 0.13% (2000)
    Nakhi 5,199 (2000) 0.13% (2000)
    Others 8,751 0.22%

    Villagers pose for pictures as they hold their year-end bonus at Jianshe village, Liangshan, Sichuan province, January 14, 2014.

    Even villagers not directly involved in the operations of the co-operative still get a dividend. Image from

  • fulltimestudent


    au·ton·o·mous (ô-tn-ms)adj.

    1. 1. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: an autonomous judiciary; an autonomous division of a corporate conglomerate. 2. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. In what way is Tibet autonomous?

    Well I could be a real smartarse and say – in the same way that Aussie native peoples are Autonomous, but then I realised that’s a stupid answer (even for me) because Australia doesn’t even pretend to give Australian Native peoples much autonomy – the Aussie authorities do not seem to think that the Abo’s (to use the expression that the Aussie public seems to prefer) would be able to make any use of complete autonomy because (a) they’re really too stupid to use it properly, Or (b) they might mis-use it and get some foreign power to help them, and the Aussie Public would not stand for that, now would they?

    Anyway, after thinking about all that, I re-thought your selective quotation of the meaning of the word autonomy. I wont re-quote – it’s at the top of the page. Autonomy is very black white thing according to your selective use of dictionary meanings. Let's see if that is really the case.

    And, the dictionaries do say what you said they say – but many go on to demonstrate that in usage, autonomy is not a ‘either you have or you don’t,' thing.’

    So let’s see now. Googling the word brings up Google’s own definition:

    Quote: 1. the right or condition of self-government.

    "between the First and Second World Wars, Canada gained greater autonomy from Britain."


    Implicit in this statement is the fact that Canada once had no autonomy, but at different stages, most particularly in WW1, autonomy was increased.

    The web edition of the Oxford dictionary offers that same point to illustrate usage. (Reference: )

    As you see, the suggestion there is that there are ‘degrees’ of autonomy. Let’s see if other sources suggest something similar. The web-based “Free Dictionary” offers these definitions: ( Reference: )


    n. pl. au·ton·o·mies

    1. The condition or quality of being autonomous; independence.

    2. a. Self-government or the right of self-government; self-determination.

    b. Self-government with respect to local or internal affairs: granted autonomy to a national minority.

    3. A self-governing state, community, or group.

    (Highlighting mine) and further down the page:

    autonomy (ɔːˈtɒnəmɪ)

    n, pl -mies

    1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the right or state of self-government, esp when limited.

    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a state, community, or individual possessing autonomy.

    These two refinements of meaning clearing suggest that autonomy can be (usually is) limited. Or, as stated before, that there can be degrees of autonomy.

    In connection with (2) immediately above, its axiomatic that a community or an individual within a modern state has only limited autonomy.

    Can I offer an example of limited political Autonomy. From Wikipedia (Reference: ):

    In the United States government, autonomy refers to one's own self-governance. One former example of an autonomous jurisdiction into the United States government belong to the Philippine Islands; The Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 provided the framework for the creation of an autonomous government providing the Filipino people(Filipinos) broader domestic autonomy, though it reserved certain privileges to the United States to protect its sovereign rights and interests. [2]

    The background to this illustration, is that Spain had conquered the island group we call, The Philippines, in the 16 th century. As the Spanish Empire collapsed at the end of the 19 th century, Philippino people moved to set up an independent Republic. The United States (under President Theodore Roosevelt) however fought that move by invading the Philippines and fighting a nasty, vicious war against Philippino freedom fighters. Strangely, I suggest that in the longer term it was this move that eventually brought the Chinese Communist Party to power in China. But back to the point. The Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 gave a degree of autonomy to a conquered people.

    Does that answer your question?

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