Opinion / Featured Contributors

Witnessing the rapid transformation of Guizhou

Updated: 2017-11-27 17:14 By Bruce Connolly (chinadaily.com.cn)


Witnessing the rapid transformation of Guizhou

Village alongside Airport Expressway Zunyi. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

After lunch, in a village hall, we had the chance to meet with local residents while sharing our impressions of the area. Personally, I am positive at seeing attempts to retain a rural population while providing opportunities to raise their living standards, reducing urban migration.

So easy to have stayed longer at Huamao, but we were soon heading by road again through often breathtaking countryside. Skirting past Zunyi, where suburban expansion was underway, we were soon again into a rural landscape. Here was a mixture of renovated villages while others showed why the policies of poverty alleviation are so important. In some areas life still looked hard, some based around older heavy industries relocated to mountainous areas in the 1950s and 1960s. However road construction was rapidly opening these areas to the modern world.

Guizhou is part of a vast limestone plateau stretching from Guangdong across Guangxi and Guizhou toYunnan. The topography is challenging, a reason for local remoteness. Recent highway construction tunneling through the mountains and spanning valleys with some of the world's tallest bridges has greatly reduced travel time to the provincial capital of Guiyang, a city I had only previously passed through by train.

Guiyang is a true mountain city, built literally between, on and below luscious green hills that effectively split the city into many local neighborhoods. Today an extensive urban expressway network connects the city's rapidly expanding spread. It is connected nationwide by high-speed train and internationally by air. It would be our base for two days.