On 16 October, the award presentation ceremony of “CIC and China Re Group stretched noodle industry upgrade model restaurant (Beijing)” was held in Beijing, at which among others Ouyang Guangqi, deputy director of the Beijing Office of Qinghai Province, Zhang Geping, office director of the Party Committee of CIC, Ren Xiaobin, member of the Party Committee and vice president of China Re Group attended, and presented the award to Xiyu Yaxuan Beef Noodle Restaurant. At the award presentation ceremony, China Re Group signed a memorandum of legal assistance with the Beijing Office of Qinghai Province to help Qinghai stretched noodle operators to prevent legal risks and solve legal problems in Beijing. The Beijing Branch of China Continent Insurance presented a complimentary public liability insurance package for the model restaurant with an aim to provide protection for the accident risks faced by the restaurant operators and eliminate the worries of the stretched noodle workers.
The awarding model restaurant “Xiyu Yaxuan Beef Noodle Restaurant” is situated at No.321 Guang’anmennei Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing, with an area of 440 square meters, and 10 employees (including 1 person from a household registered for poverty) are all from Xunhua County. The restaurant is the third model restaurant of CIC and China Re Group in upgrading the stretched noodle industry in Xunhua County, Qinghai Province, as well as the first Qinghai stretched noodle model restaurant opened in Beijing. This will serve as a good role model to lead the economic development of the stretched noodle industry in Xunhua County, Qinghai.
This is an epitome of China Re Group’s active role in serving Xunhua County since 2002, as a state-owned enterprise to fulfill its political responsibility and focus on fighting against poverty. In 2002, according to the arrangement of the State Council, China Re Group provided targeted assistance to Xunhua Salar Autonomous County, Qinghai Province (hereinafter referred to as “Xunhua County”) and helped Xunhua County shake off poverty in 2018 after years of hard work. Xunhua County is located in the Yellow River valley in the eastern part of Qinghai, with an average elevation above sea level of 2,300 meters. It is the only Salar Autonomous County in China, and also one of the regions with a small ethnic population identified by the State Council as one of the first key counties for poverty alleviation and key support development. It has a total population of 161,600. 93.5% of the population comprises the ethnic minorities. Among which, the Salar nationality accounts for 62.7%. After 18 years of targeted poverty alleviation efforts, China Re Group is determined to shoulder the political responsibility of assisting in poverty alleviation as a state-owned enterprise. While actively implementing the basic strategy of targeted poverty alleviation, China Re Group gives full play to the advantages of its main business of insurance and reinsurance, and explores a way of targeted poverty alleviation with China Re’s characteristics focusing on “poverty alleviation through insurance” and “stretched-noodle-driven economic development”.
Raising political position and strengthening responsibility to continuously consolidate and strengthen the Party’s overall leadership in poverty alleviation
Since 2002, China Re Group has been providing targeted poverty alleviation support to Xunhua County. China Re Group stresses on the principles of fostering “four aspects of consciousness”, “four matters of confidence” and “two pillars to safeguard” to strengthen coordination and targeted poverty alleviation efforts.
While strengthening the organization and leadership, China Re Group has established a poverty alleviation working group which regularly analyzes the tasks, and studies and promotes the Group’s systematic poverty alleviation work. The “China Re Group’s Liaison Office for Targeted Poverty Alleviation and Xunhua Branch of China Continent Insurance” has been set up to take charge of the implementation of poverty alleviation through front-line insurance and poverty alleviation work. A four-tier linkage mechanism for poverty alleviation has been established to coordinate and promote poverty alleviation work at all levels across the Group.
Since 2002, China Re Group has spent more than RMB136 million in providing poverty alleviation support to Xunhua County. In particular, more than RMB119 million has been spent since 2017, accounting for 87.75% of the total accumulated amount over the years. In 2020, China Re Group set a record high and made a direct investment of RMB38 million. Through stable capital investment, China Re Group ensures the continuous implementation of a number of poverty alleviation projects focusing on poverty alleviation through insurance, thus laying a solid foundation to win a complete victory in the battle against poverty.
China Re Group actively supports poverty alleviation through building a strong poverty alleviation team. The Group has successively assigned nine outstanding cadres to take a temporary assignment in Xunhua. In particular, Wang Lei, who has been serving as deputy county head of Xunhua County and the first secretary of Dazhuang Village since 2016, was awarded the “National May 1st Labor Medal”. In 2017, the headquarters of the Group successively delegated four outstanding young cadres to station in Xunhua as the first line of defence in poverty alleviation. This year, the Party Committee of the Group selected three young cadres to take temporarily serve as deputy directors of the local brand industry service bureau and the development and reform bureau of Xunhua County in an effort to jointly promote the implementation of the Group’s poverty alleviation strategy.
Grasping key difficulties and capitalizing on the advantages of the principal business to win the battle against poverty
Aiming at the key difficulty of “No Worry about Food and Clothing with Compulsory Education, Basic Medical Care, and Housing Guaranteed” program, China Re Group full capitalizes on the advantages of the principal business of insurance, with poverty alleviation through insurance as the core, and makes targeted compensation for poor people through insurance, so as to reduce poverty in a targeted manner, which greatly improves the scientificity and preciseness of poverty alleviation.
The year 2017 and year 2018 marked a critical period for poverty alleviation and the ramp up period to shake off poverty in Xunhua County. After careful consideration, CIC and China Re Group launched the innovative “1 + N” targeted poverty alleviation model in March 2017 with “poverty alleviation through insurance” as the core, as supplemented by “poverty alleviation through industries, renovation of dilapidated houses, poverty alleviation through education and soft construction”, in response to the reality conditions where it is difficult for households registered for poverty to purchase medicine, seek medical treatment in clinics and hospitals and obtain long-term protection. In particular, the core of poverty alleviation through insurance relies on the advantages of China Re Group’s principal insurance business, and deeply aligns with the practical needs and local conditions in Xunhua, thus creating a path of poverty alleviation through insurance featuring China Re’s characteristics. The first batch of underwriting plans include a basket of solutions covering inpatient medical insurance, outpatient emergency medical insurance, accident injury and accident medical insurance, etc.
Driven by the “1 + N” targeted poverty alleviation model, Xunhua County was lifted out of poverty in September 2018, marking the first regional ethnic minority group in China to shake off poverty entirely.
After shaking off poverty in Xunhua County, stabilizing poverty alleviation and avoiding return to poverty have become the focus of the work. While earnestly implementing the instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s “Four Don’ts” policy, CIC and China Re Group jointly devised and launched the “anti-return to poverty” insurance plan in 2019. There are four features of the plan. First, the insurance protection functions well to make up any deficits, which helps consolidate the poverty alleviation efforts. Second, it has a wide coverage which provides coverage to more than 60,000 people in Xunhua County, being the four categories of people who are likely to return to poverty there. Third, it offers comprehensive protection underwritten by means of portfolio insurance. Fourth, the plan can be extended and replicated in other regions and offers targeted, customized and effective insurance services according to the characteristics of different regions and people groups.
As of the end of September 2020, China Re Group offered more than ten billion renminbi worth “anti-return to poverty” protection to approximately 750,000 people over 98 villages (towns), 62 counties (municipalities) and 25 provinces (autonomous regions) including Gansu, Guizhou and Hebei, with claim payments exceeding RMB8.5 million, thus contributing to winning the battle against poverty through the “power of insurance”.
In addition to the in-depth implementation of poverty alleviation through insurance, CIC and China Re Group have also introduced comprehensive policies to strengthen the “portfolio” aspect of poverty alleviation, and continuously consolidated the results of poverty alleviation. By implementing poverty alleviation through education, funding the construction of school buildings, subsidizing nutritional meals for primary school students, carrying out entrusted education, building China Re reading room, building multi-media classrooms, upgrading teaching equipment and donating sports equipment, China Re Group has greatly improved the basic conditions of education in Xunhua County through “supporting intellectual education”. A funding for renovation of dilapidated houses has been set up to help poor families who lack self-financing ability to renovate their dilapidated houses so that they can live in a secured and safe place. By introducing poverty alleviation through consumption and tourism, China Re Group actively purchased featured agricultural products in Xunhua County, organized a photography exhibition for poverty alleviated titled “The fascinating home of the Salar people in Xunhua County” and an impression exhibition titled “Witnessing an ethnic minority group to shake off poverty” to vividly display the natural landscape and local customs in Xunhua County. China Re Group also carries out poverty alleviation through Party building. Through assisting in the construction and repair of the Party building infrastructure, carrying out post-disaster reconstruction, organizing training courses with the theme of boosting poverty alleviation through Party building, the political advantages and organizational advantages of the Party organization are converted into the advantages of poverty alleviation.
Adhering to local conditions and focusing on strong industries to make great efforts towards wealth creation and revenue growth
In order to achieve “real poverty shake-off”, it must be supported by a solid poverty alleviation industry. CIC and China Re Group endeavors to deepen the poverty alleviation measures, and have created the “1 + 1 + N” anti-return to poverty model with two “1” two-wheel driven strategies by poverty alleviation through insurance and the development of stretched noodle industry, alongside with other targeted poverty alleviation measures, with a view to promoting the upgrade of the poverty alleviation model to the “2.0” version that focuses on “avoiding return to poverty, promoting development and maintaining sustainability”.
Xunhua has a longstanding history of stretched noodle boasting local flavors, which represents a key industry with the potential for standardization and branding, employs the largest number of people and generates the biggest revenue in Xunhua. Nearly 25% of the county’s population, representing 7,500 operators are engaged in the stretched noodle industry across China. The stretched noodle industry plays a significant role in driving local employment, revenue growth and targeted poverty alleviation. However, in core cities, Xunhua stretched noodle restaurant operators lack competitiveness and face limited development due to small-scale operation and fragmentation. At the same time, the restaurant operators face difficulties in obtaining financing and high costs.
In 2019, CIC and China Re Group, in collaboration with the Xunhua County Government, established the strategy of “wealth creation and revenue growth driven by the stretched noodle industry”. Through which, it is planned to improve the “capital generation” ability of the industry by expanding the economic scale of the stretched noodle industry and upgrading the layout and expansion. The first is guaranteed capital introduction. China Re Group invested RMB30 million to introduce bank loans amounting to more than RMB150 million, and supported the upgrading of over 7,000 stretched noodle restaurants of Xunhua County across the China through interest subsidy incentives and professional technical training. At present, the amount granted in the first batch of “stretched noodle loan” was approximately RMB50 million, benefiting more than a hundred stretched noodle restaurant operators. The second is upgrade. China Re Group helped Xunhua County establish a whole industry chain from raw material processing, distribution, restaurant cooking to standardized management of services, as led by the government’s industrial policies, supported by professional industrial development enterprises and promoted by financial insurance funds, to build a Qinghai stretched noodle brand and a unique “Salar family style” ethnic food and beverage brand. At present, three “stretched noodle industry upgrade model restaurants” have been successively opened in Xunhua, Xining and Beijing. The third is technology empowerment. Through building the Internet + “stretched noodle industry economy” big data platform, China Re Group analyzes the application of stretched noodle data, the decision-making in the stretched noodle industry development, the core indicators of the operation of stretched noodle economy and other data, so as to drive business, guide decision-making and create value with data, while enhancing the management model and improving operating efficiency.
Looking ahead, China Re Group will, while remaining true to its original aspiration and keeping its mission firmly in mind, continue to combine its advantages of the principal business with the industrial characteristics of the supporting regions; effectively connect poverty shake-off with rural revitalization; make comprehensive efforts in providing assistance through insurance, industries and intellectual education; drive and strengthen the “capital generation” function and the momentum of organic development; and strive to win the battle against poverty with greater determination and stronger efforts.