Chinese man lives alone for 10 years in abandoned village in Gansu province

About 250 million are expected to move out of the country's villages and into its cities by 2030

Jess Staufenberg
Monday 18 July 2016 15:51 BST
Liu Shengjia at his home
Liu Shengjia at his home

A Chinese man has been living alone in a remote village for a decade, it has emerged.

Liu Shengjia was left to fend for himself after resources became scarce and families either moved away or gradually died in Xuenshanshe village.

When his mother and younger brother passed away 10 years ago, Mr Liu said he became accustomed to only having sheep for company in the remote part of Gansu province.

"In the beginning, I wasn't able to sleep at night while listening to the howling of the wild dogs," he told Chinese newspaper the People's Daily.

"But after I started to tend a few sheep and they've become my companions, I slowly got used to living alone."

He continues to work for the local forestry protection station and earns 700 yuan, or about £74, a month but must still travel long distances to buy food and fetch water.

Mr Liu said despite enjoying the advantage of being able to choose whichever house he wants to live in, he still hoped to move somewhere with more people in in the future, according to CCTV News.

"Surviving here is not a problem for me, but I still prefer to move to a more populous area when the time comes," he said.

The phenomenon of "ghost villages" has been on the rise in China as many rural labourers take part in a mass exodus predominantly to its eastern cities to find work.

Yet some of the cities in the centre of the country built expressly to accomodate the country's 1.3 billion citizens - about 20 per cent of the entire globe's population - are still under construction and many remain mostly empty.

The Chinese government has previously said it hopes some 250 million people will move out of the country's villages and into its cities by 2030, as part of a push for urbanisation and increased domestic consumerism.

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