Xi Jinping's birthplace, Fuping, set to prosper from leader's rise
County near Xian sees growing development even before new president takes reins
Fuping county, on the outskirts of Xian, is expected to get a big boost in infrastructure investment after the accession of Xi Jinping as the next leader at the Communist Party next month.
Xi, who is vice-president and has been anointed to succeed Hu Jintao as president, was born in the rural county in Shaanxi province in 1953.
His father, Xi Zhongxun, a former vice-premier, was born and is buried in Fuping.
"After Xi becomes president at the 18th congress, the Shaanxi government will make things better in Fuping," said Tian Zhenjun, chief executive of West China Cement, a Hong Kong-listed cement producer based in Xian.
"There will be a metro rail line linking Fuping with the capital, Xian."
"Once Xi becomes the leader, the government will undertake a lot of projects in the area, such as metro rail lines linking Fuping with other centres, many roads," said Ma Weiping, a non-executive director of West China Cement.
The company's regional manager, Wang Fayin, added: "An increase in investment in Fuping has become noticeable recently, particularly in housing and infrastructure projects.
"After the 18th congress, the development of Fuping county will definitely accelerate even more."
At a town in Fuping county that administers a neighbouring village where Xi was born, there was a new development zone including shops and affordable housing under construction. At another spot there were many high-rise residential buildings under construction.
The works contrasted with the area's traditional low-rise village houses, many of which were adorned with corn cobs hung from rooftops, this being the corn harvesting season.
Driving through Fuping there were two memorial columns to Xi Zhongxun, who was an important player in the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. There is also a patriotic education base in the county.
During the 1930s, Xi Zhongxun was one of the leaders of Shaanxi province, but he was jailed in September 1935 during a leftist campaign.
By his own account, Xi senior was just days from being executed when Mao Zedong arrived in Shaanxi with his Long March followers in October 1935 and ordered his release.