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China Daily / 2021-06 / 11 / Page018

Fighting the sands of time

By Wang Ru and Hu Dongmei | China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-11 00:00

Stoic Party member's lifelong mission to reclaim his hometown from the encroaching Maowusu Desert pays off, Wang Ru and Hu Dongmei report.

Wang Youde remembers a time when his hometown in Lingwu city, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, was covered in sand. "Back then, we lived near the border of Maowusu Desert. The expansion of the desert occupied our farmlands, houses and hometown, and tens of thousands of people had to move away," recalls Wang.

Wang's family was among them, which formed in him a resolve to dedicate himself to fighting against desertification, and "regain the land robbed by the desert".

In 1985, when he worked as deputy director of Baijitan National Nature Reserve in Lingwu, he began his mission, leading his colleagues into battle against the sand. Later he became director of the reserve.

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