Photo shows passengers taking a no-frills slow train in southwest China’s Sichuan Province to sell their own farm produce. (Photo by Liu Guoxing/People’s Daily Online)
While Fuxing bullet trains, the state-of-the-art high-speed trains of China, are running on the country’s continuously expanding high-speed railway network that might reach 40,000 kilometers in the near future, 81 pairs of no-frills slow trains are carrying 12 million people each year to and from a number of obscure stations at fixed and low prices.
These slow trains normally run less than 40 kilometers per hour and offer cheap tickets throughout the year. What they transport are not only passengers from underdeveloped areas, but also these passengers’ livelihood and dreams.
The galloping bullet trains and unhurried no-frills carriages pose a sharp contrast that presents the “tenderness” of China’s rapid railway development.
Apart from the slow trains, China has launched massive other public service projects in multiple fields tailored for special groups, from the communication base stations set up in deep mountains to the stable supply of orphan drugs, and from the efforts made to redesign internet applications for the aged to improving the security system for children living in difficulty.
These pragmatic measures, aiming at tackling livelihood problems in a targeted manner, have enhanced people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security. It mirrors a fact that China in the new era, is attaching huge importance to leaving no one behind the speed of development, but also the warmth of it.
The warmth of development means that no one shall be left behind during the country’s development.
Amid COVID-19, China has always put people and their lives above everything else and done everything to save the patients. In the country’s fight against poverty, the Chinese government tailored targeted measures that covered all impoverished population. Besides, when building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, China also made sure that everyone would benefit from the process and results.
To improve livelihood, enhance people’s wellbeing and pursue common prosperity is a remarkable advantage of the socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The warmth of development comes from the country’s concrete actions to solve problems for its people. China believes that livelihood issues are never trivial. During COVID-19, health QR code was widely applied to identify residents’ health conditions in public places. In the meantime, channels that didn’t require QR code credentials were also established to serve those who were unfamiliar with smart phones. The country’s 14th Five-Year Plan also proposed to make public facilities accessible to senior citizens.
Today, more and more local authorities in China are issuing specific and targeted measures to service special groups and those in difficulty.
The warmth of development demonstrates that China never overemphasizes immediate benefits. Obviously the country is losing money in running the no-frills slow trains, but these rail lines can lead the people along the tracks toward prosperity. Remote villages don’t have a large population, but communication base stations are still erected there, as the country believes that the wellbeing of the people shall not be calculated by economic numbers.
Development not only is a grand vision of a country, but also concerns the practical interests of individuals.
“The mission of my life is to drive the train well. It has nothing to do with the speed of the locomotive,” said a conductor of a slow train.