• Steeped in tradition: Xi's bond with tea

    By Ma Chi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-03-23 18:06
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    Xi Jinping learns about local efforts to develop the tea industry while visiting an eco-friendly tea garden in Nanping city, Fujian province, March 22, 2021.[Xinhua/Wang Ye]

    During a trip on Monday to Nanping, Southwest China's Fujian province, President Xi Jinping visited a local tea garden, where he called for efforts to promote tea culture, and develop the tea industry.

    Tea is one of three major drinks in the world, and is produced in more than 60 countries and regions and enjoyed by over 2 billion people.

    As a healthy drink that originated in China and is popular around the world, tea serves as a cultural ambassador for the nation.

    Xi's bond with tea could date back to the years when he worked in Fujian province.

    A bird's-eye view of Tanyang village and tea plantations surrounding it, Sept 7, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

    During his tenure as Party secretary of Ningde prefecture (1988-1990), Xi made four visits to Tanyang village in Fu'an city, which is famous for the Tanyang Congou tea, a golden prize winner at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

    Xi proposed to develop the tea industry with local characteristics by grading tea leaves and introducing large-scale planting and scientific management.

    He led efforts to improve the varieties of tea and quality of tea leaves.

    After more than three decades of development, the tea industry has become a pillar industry for Tanyang village, with more than 80 percent of residents involved in the tea industry.

    Tea leaves are dried at Xiaoyue village in Fuding city of Ningde, Fujian province, March 21, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

    Ningde has grown into a major tea production area in Fujian, with many places having shaken off poverty thanks to the tea industry.

    Besides Fujian, tea has also helped farmers in other areas of the country overcome poverty.

    A poverty-stricken resident picks tea leaves at an eco-friendly tea plantation in Xinyang, Henan province, April 28, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
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