NANJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- A funeral was held Friday for Wu Renbao, a former Communist Party chief of Huaxi Village in east China's Jiangsu Province, who transformed the once poverty-stricken village into one of the richest in the country.
Officials and residents bid farewell to the retired Communist Party of China (CPC) secretary of Huaxi, who died of cancer on Monday at the age of 85.
People, many with tears in their eyes, lined both sides of the main streets in Huaxi where Wu's hearse passed by. People held a banner reading "Old secretary, the Huaxi people will miss you for ever."
At the funeral ceremony, Jiang Hongliang, secretary of the CPC committee of Jiangyin City, which administers Huaxi, highlighted Wu's contribution to local farmers.
"Our village was so poor in the past. But now it is so rich. The change should be attributed to the old secretary," said Zhu Xiaomei, a Huaxi resident.
Wu was elected Party chief of Huaxi Village in 1961, when the impoverished village had a population of 667. The bold reformer made the village one of the richest in China through its own industrialization, which began with the construction of a hardware factory in the 1960s.
"I lived a poor life in the past. I feel sad when I see people live a poor life. My biggest wish is to make poor people live a good life," Wu once said.
Wu Xie'en, the fourth son of Wu Renbao, was elected Party secretary of Huaxi in 2003 when his father retired. The younger Wu has vowed to adhere to the principle of "common prosperity" that his father had stressed.
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