Life looks up for villagers in Xinjiang

By Wu Yanbo in Hami, Xinjiang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-03 07:19
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Visitors enjoy the wetland in Barkol Kazakh autonomous county, Hami, Xinjiang. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Mountain divide

Hami is divided into northern and southern areas by the Tianshan Mountains. In the southern area, fertile land and the Gobi Desert converge, while the northern area features forests, grasslands, snowcapped mountains and glaciers. As a result, Hami is a microcosm of Xinjiang, as it can experience four seasons in a single day and different weather conditions within a 16-kilometer radius.

Barkol Kazakh autonomous county in the north, located next to Yiwu, is home to a landscape rich in snow-capped mountains, forests, grasslands and lakes. Viewed from the Gaojiahu Wetland Scenic Area, the distant Tianshan Mountains are covered with snow and ice, while rivers and lakes dot the grassland. This ecosystem not only serves as a habitat for birds such as gray geese and ruddy shelducks, but also attracts tourists from across China.

The scenic area, which is located in the northern part of Shirenzi township, Barkol county, and covers 59,400 hectares, is one of the country's most important wetlands.

Poverty that existed in the area more than a decade ago, when there was dust on sunny days and deep mud when it rained, has long disappeared.

Bumpy and muddy roads have been transformed into smooth belts of asphalt, and low-rise, dilapidated adobe houses replaced by comfortable, well-equipped rural-style homes. Villagers not only enjoy a pleasant environment, but also increased employment opportunities.

Since 2021, with an investment of 31 million yuan from Henan province as part of its assistance to Xinjiang, construction projects such as sightseeing corridors, wooden walkways, and water recreational facilities have been implemented in the Gaojiahu Wetland Scenic Area.

These projects have comprehensively expanded and improved infrastructure in the area, significantly enhanced living conditions for farmers and herdsmen, and improved the quality of tourist services.

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