The Last Maoist Village in China

In Nanjie Village, locals still wake to loudspeakers blaring "The East Is Red," the classic anthem of People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Nanjie, with more than 3,100 residents, is touted as one of the last models of communist China, where the principles of the late Chairman Mao still strictly guide the people's daily lives. In the 1980s, when the rest of China was introducing market reforms, Nanjie went the other direction, collectivizing its farms and industries. Aside from free housing, healthcare, food rations and education, locals working in the village's factories receive an average salary of 2,500 yuan (about $400 USD). Reuters photographer Jason Lee recently traveled to Nanjie, coming back with the photographs below.
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1. A resident carrying her child cycles past a statue of the late Chairman Mao Zedong at Dong Fang Hong Square at night in Nanjie village, in China's central Henan province September 24, 2012. Nanjie is touted to be one of the last remaining models of communist China, where the principles of morality and collectivism of the late Chairman Mao still strictly guide people's daily lives. Mao is still highly revered in Nanjie, enjoying a god-like status.




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2. Students from an art school practice dance in Nanjie village, on September 24, 2012.




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3. A worker cleans near a poster of the late Chairman Mao Zedong at a thermal power plant of the Nanjie Cun Group, on September 25, 2012.




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4. Local resident Yang Guiqin shows her Nanjie Cun welfare card as she buys water at a shop in Nanjie village, on September 25, 2012.




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5. Two militiamen leave after standing guard at a statue of the late Chairman Mao Zedong at Dong Fang Hong Square in Nanjie village, on September 24, 2012. The portraits, from left to right, depict Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin.




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6. Workers pack bags of instant noodles onto a truck at an instant noodle factory of the Nanjie Cun Group in Nanjie village, on September 24, 2012.




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7. A resident on the balcony of her welfare house at a community in Nanjie village, on September 24, 2012.




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8. Tourist cars carry visitors towards a portrait of the Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin at Dong Fang Hong Square in Nanjie village, on September 25, 2012.




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9. Residents push lawnmowers on a street in Nanjie village, on September 24, 2012.




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10. A local exercises at a community center in Nanjie village, on September 24, 2012.




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11. Students practice Chinese martial arts near a poster in Nanjie village, on September 24, 2012.




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12. People work at a production line of an instant noodle factory of the Nanjie Cun Group in Nanjie, on September 24, 2012.




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13. Elderly residents eat their lunch at a nursing home in Nanjie, on September 25, 2012. The words on the wall read, "Overcome consciousness of private-ownership and establish concept of being a big family".




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14. A girl sits next to a portrait of the late Chairman Mao Zedong at a souvenir shop beside Dong Fang Hong Square in Nanjie, on September 24, 2012.




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15. A resident walks past a statue of the Mao Zedong in Nanjie, on September 24, 2012.




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16. A worker cycles past a thermal power plant of the Nanjie Cun Group in Nanjie, on September 25, 2012.




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17. A local resident shows his meal tickets as he receives steamed bread in Nanjie, on September 25, 2012.




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18. Residents rest near portraits of the Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin and dictator Joseph Stalin at Dong Fang Hong Square in Nanjie, on September 24, 2012.




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19. Workers transfer bags of wheat flour past a banner reading "Put Politics in Command, Develop the Collective Economy" in Nanjie, on September 24, 2012.




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20. A statue of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong at in Nanjie village in China's central Henan province, on September 25, 2012.