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>> Deep in the rugged hills of northern China is a settlement of caves, these residents of Jhansi province, call home. They've been here for thousands of years living as subsistence farmers. But soon, Beijing wants to keep dwellers to move on. They'd like to see them relocated under the guise of a national effort to eradicate poverty.
Reuters Joseph Campbell traveled to Xiangshi to see what they could leave behind.>> The problem here in Xiangshi province is despite the fact that many of these cave dwellers seem to live quite stable and somewhat by rural means, comfortable lives, a lot of them are falling apart. The government is trying to push these people to live in apartments, which is part of the government's entire poverty release plan.
>> The thought of moving into apartments though doesn't sit well with many of the locals.>> People as old as us can't live in an apartment. We'll need to go out and earn a living because we'll have no allowance.>> Those who did move in are regretting it.
Some told Reuters they were promised official support and a finished apartment with furnishings even a TV. Instead, they ended up with concrete shells they say have no power or plumbing. It's adding up to a huge shock for these people who were used to life in Xiangxi's quiet hills.
>> In the eyes of the cave dwellers, when they move into an apartment building, they'll be separated from their land which technically still belongs to them but they won't be able to farm on it. They feel uncomfortable with the city life. They have to end up buying their vegetables within the town rather than growing their own, and living by the means that they did for years and years.
>> The government tells a different story. The head of China's poverty alleviation campaign said the process of moving residents from the caves has been smooth. That all may not be enough for cave dwellers leaving behind land that's provided for generations.