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High-speed railways connect rural China with prosperity

(People's Daily Online)    15:37, January 17, 2020

The increasing presence of high-speed railways in rural China has not only expanded the national railway network, but also brought rural areas into the sphere of prosperity, reported on Jan.16, 2020.

Danjiangkou high-speed railway station. Photo by Zhang Qin from China News Agency

Wang Wanli is one of the villagers whose living conditions have become better and better thanks to the high-speed railway connecting her hometown with the rest of Hubei province in central China.

Wang runs a grocery store in Jinshan village, Danjiangkou city in central China’s Hubei province. It never occurred to her that her 16-year-old neighborhood store could receive so many customers from outside her hometown.

On Nov.29, 2019, a high-speed railway link between the provincial capital Wuhan and Shiyan went into operation. For many counties in northwest Hubei, it was their first ever high-speed railway.

Wang’s store is only 500 meters from the Danjiangkou railway station. The short distance makes her store a popular choice for many passengers stopping or taking a break at the station.

Wang Wanli at her grocery store near the Danjiangkou high-speed railway station. Photo by Zhang Qin from China News Agency

Wang’s husband, who used to work outside their hometown, has returned home to work as a truck driver. Her son, who just retired from the military last year, became a patrolman at the railway station.

More and more local villagers have gone back from the cities to their hometown to work in jobs directly or indirectly related to the railway, such as sanitary workers and security inspectors. Some even opened agritainment restaurants in their hometown.

A train runs through the Danjiangkou high-speed railway station. Photo by Zhang Qin from China News Agency

Danjiangkou city got rid of poverty in April 2019, and at the end of the year it was listed as one of the 100 most competitive tourist cities in China.

Guizhou province in southwest China saw its first high-speed railway in 2014, then the second, third, and fourth in the years that followed. The high-speed railways have turned Guizhou into an important transportation hub in southwest China.

Credible sources indicated that the number of tourist arrivals in Guizhou have been increasing by 37.2 percent in recent years, and the annual tourism revenue by 37.7 percent. In the first three quarters of 2019, the province received 253 million tourists and saw tourism revenue of nearly 1 trillion yuan.


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