From shacks to des res: one village’s great leap in China’s march to the future

Running water, L-shaped sofas and flatscreen TVs are gracing new homes for some of the beneficiaries of Xi Jinping’s war on poverty

Xiao Ercha lives in a tumbledown shanty beside a pigsty, thousands of miles and a world away from the awe-inspiring skyscrapers of Beijing and Shanghai.

Tatty mosquito nets hang from the bamboo poles propping up the shack’s cracked asbestos roof; kittens and chickens scuttle across its earthen floor. Xiao, 57, shakes his head when asked to name the leader of his nation, the second largest economy on earth.

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