SW China’s Guizhou pursues new development path, witnesses historic changes in past decade

(People's Daily Online) 17:37, August 09, 2022

Southwest China’s Guizhou Province has implemented the new development philosophy and made remarkable achievements in economic and social development and other undertakings since the convening of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in 2012.

Photo shows an expressway bridge in Luoxiang township, Congjiang county, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Guizhou Province. (Photo/Shi Honghui)

The province has blazed a new development path that coordinates economic development and ecological conservation, created a golden decade and achieved the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, in parallel with the rest of the country, said Chen Yiqin, secretary of the CPC Guizhou Provincial Committee, at a recent press conference.

Guizhou, once containing the biggest poverty-stricken population at the provincial level in China, has secured a complete victory in its fight against poverty and improved people’s lives in all areas by taking poverty alleviation as the top priority of social and economic development.

By the end of 2020, Guizhou had lifted a total of 9.23 million people out of poverty, and 1.92 million impoverished people in the province moved out of the mountains, both accomplishments ranking the first in the country.

Over the past decade, Guizhou has been among the country’s top provincial regions in terms of GDP growth for 10 consecutive years. The province’s GDP approached 2 trillion yuan in 2021, a two-fold increase from that in 2012.

Last year, the per capita disposable income reached 39,211 yuan (about $5,802.59) for urban residents in the province and 12,856 yuan for rural residents, an increase of 2.1 times and 2.7 times compared to that in 2012, respectively.

Guizhou has taken the lead in realizing the balanced development of compulsory education at the county level in China’s western region. The average years of schooling for the working-age population increased from 7.8 to 8.9. The gross high school enrollment grew from 62.2 percent to 91.5 percent, while the university and college admission rate increased from 25.5 percent to 45.7 percent.

Guizhou has also taken the lead in establishing a system for remote medical care services at provincial, municipal, county, and township levels, as well as a mountain emergency medical rescue system. The province has ensured more equitable access to basic medical care and other public services. It has put in place a social security system covering both urban and rural residents and strengthened a closely knit network for guaranteeing people’s well-being.

Though poor infrastructure construction once constrained the development of the province with 97 percent of its landmass in mountainous areas, it has made great strides in infrastructure construction over the past decade.

Guizhou has become the first province in western China to ensure that all counties have been connected by expressways and all villages that have more than 30 households have been linked with paved roads. The total length of the operational expressways in the province increased from 2,630 kilometers in 2012, to 8,010 kilometers in 2021. Guiyang, capital of the province, has become an important high-speed railway hub in the country.

Guizhou has prioritized ecological conservation and sought green development. The province has stepped up efforts to build itself into a national ecological civilization pilot zone, exploring a new development path featuring good economic returns and a sound ecological environment.

The province’s forest coverage rate increased from 47 percent in 2012, to 62.12 percent in 2021. The number of UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites in the province ranked first in China. The proportion of days with good air quality in major cities in the province exceeded 98 percent, and the water of all major outbound sections was of high quality.

Guizhou has gone all out to implement the national big data strategy and build itself into the country’s first national big data comprehensive pilot zone. The growth rate of the digital economy in the province has been the highest in the country for seven consecutive years.

The tourism sector has become one of Guizhou’s pillar industries. Last year, the added value of the province’s tourism sector and relevant industries exceeded 100 billion yuan, accounting for 5.2 percent of its GDP. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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