This is China Series

Chinese villagers struggling for a better life. This is China | Episode 4

American DJ Rick O’Shea travels across China’s distant villages and observes the lives of local people.

Yinchuan, the driest place in China in the Gobi desert, is known as ‘the land of despair’ and doesn’t look so despairing and empty nowadays. A Chinese state anti-poverty program changed the territory forever. In the 1990s, 1.2 mln people settled there to improve the land. Mining was stopped, and ecology became a priority. The villagers got state support, and now vineyards grow where rocky sand used to be, and the local economy is booming.

Xipi village is close to the Pacific Ocean, which hides a mystery. About 1,000 years ago, a group of people arrived on the South-East coast of China. They used to spend all their lives on the water. They were bullied by the villagers from the land and had no right to settle on the land. In 1949 change came when they were granted equal rights to live on the land. The shores of Yantian Harbor became their home. Fishing and cultivating oysters and crabs remain the principal occupation. And you can see marvellous sunsets behind the mountains.

Enjoy more captivating stories about the people of China, the contemporary bearers of the ancient culture, language and past.