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Guizhou: A red province in motion

By Zhang Xingjian ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2016-09-12

Guizhou: A red province in motion

Houchang Conference is reputed as the prelude to a reform in the Red Army history, laying a solid foundation for the success of the Long March. [Photo by Zhang Xingjian/chinadaily.com.cn]

Cameras constantly clicked to capture the contrast between the glowing red stars hanging on the bridge on the attractive Chishui River and high-rise buildings at various stages of completion in Moutai, a town filled with fragrance of liquor in Southwest China's Guizhou province.

All I could see was a magnificent fountain show decorated by warm lights in this small town; all I could hear was the clear sound of raindrops, as a member of the media group to review the Long March route in Guizhou province, I was hushed to a concentrated silence, trying to capture the magical mix of modern and tradition with my lenses.

Actually, Moutai is the epitome of Guizhou province. During the five-day visit, I was enthralled by what Guizhou province offers best: green development and red spirit.

A visit to Guiyang was an ideal introduction to the province and a chance to catch a glimpse of fast economic performance in the capital city.

One year ago, President Xi Jinping visited a demonstration center on big data here and stressed the need for more investment and research into this field as China's big data industry is still in its infancy.

One year later, Guiyang has already made major push to promote the big data industry. The industry has been designated as one of the three strategic sectors in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) in Guizhou province. Guiyang has also boosted infrastructure construction and spent 3.14 billion yuan ($484 million) on information infrastructure in 2015.

Although Guizhou is among the least developed regions in China, it has established a state-level big data agglomeration and aims to contain two million servers. Also, some cities are already offering free city-wide Wi-Fi .

After visiting Guiyang, I took a high-speed rail from Guiyang to Congjiang. Short as the voyage was, it passed through so many tunnels, a reflection of the tough journey the Red Army had to go through, that too on foot as there was no other mode of transportation 80 years ago.

When I arrived at Congjiang, I together with other media friends took a bus directly to Liping, a county filled with traditional Dong culture. This was a unique experience for me, as it was my first time to get in touch with Chinese ethnic groups. People here stay in a traditional lifestyle in every aspect from clothing to residence.

In recent years, regions along the Long March have striven to grasp the red culture to boost tourism. And I realized Liping was no exception.

According to the latest government report, during the period of 12th Five Year Plan (2011- 2015), the overall GDP in Liping increased from 3.16 billion yuan to 6.73 billion yuan with an average annual growth rate of 16.3 percent; tourist arrivals increased by 26.2 percent year-on-year from 1.28 million to 2.63 million.

Several blocks away from the Dong cultural zone stands the Liping Conference site, which marked the beginning of a series of CPC vital conferences addresses.

Be it Liping Conference, Houchang Conference or Zunyi Conference, these meetings have been endowed with much historic significance in the Long March.

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