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|Tuesday, August 14, 2001, updated at 09:38(GMT+8)|
China's First Yi Autonomous County Celebrates 50th BirthdayThe Eshan Yi Autonomous County, the first of its kind in China, Monday celebrated its 50th anniversary of founding as well as the traditional annual torch festival.
The hinterland of South China's Yunnan Province has seen drastic changes since it was established in 1951. The GDP of the county in 2000 was 117 times that in 1952 and the income of farmers jumped to 1,970 yuan (237 US dollars).
Ba Yufa, deputy magistrate of the county, attributed the fast economic development to the policy for ethnic minority groups adopted by the Communist Party of China. He said that the policy has also brought about political improvement for the Yi people.
Performance parades and torch parties were major activities at the celebration.
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