- MEDIA CENTER
Inland Guizhou province is embracing high-quality development with an emphasis on digital economy and ecosystem protection after achieving poverty alleviation, its Party chief said on Wednesday.
A total of 9.23 million people living in the province were lifted out of poverty by the end of 2020, the largest number in the country, Shen Yiqin, Party secretary of Guizhou province, said at a news conference in Guiyang.
"Today's Guizhou has torn off the label of poverty, and realized overall moderate prosperity," she said.
Between 2012 and 2021, the GDP of Guizhou rose from 670 billion yuan ($99 billion) to 1.96 trillion yuan, accounting for 1.71 percent of the national GDP last year.
Poor transportation infrastructure has impeded the development of the inland province for years, as Guizhou is the only province in the country without plains.
Shen said the past decade witnessed a "big leap" in the development of infrastructure in the province.
Expressway mileage tripled from 2,630 kilometers in 2012 to 8,010 kilometers in 2021, now ranked fifth in the country. Nearly half of the world's 100 highest bridges are in the province.
"The influence that comes with the development of transportation infrastructure in Guizhou is enduring and profound," said Li Bingjun, governor of Guizhou.
It is easier for people and enterprises to "go out", and also allows higher-level opening-up by integrating into the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle.
"During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period, our major task was poverty alleviation. Entering the new development phase, the emphasis has moved to high-quality development with an eye on both development and ecosystem protection," Shen said.
The growth rate of the digital economy in Guizhou has been the highest in the country for seven consecutive years.
Guiyang, the provincial capital, where Chinese Internet giant Tencent and tech firm Huawei store their user data, is becoming one of the world's mega data storage centers.
Home to China International Big Data Industry Expo, Guizhou will further develop the electronic information industry by focusing on nurturing an industrial cluster of data centers, intelligent terminals and data applications, Li said.
With the most World Natural Heritage sites in China, Guizhou knows development must be made without hampering its environment and ecosystem.
"We refuse any business projects that have potential environmental risks in Guizhou," said Li, the governor.
A "green" tradition has been practiced in Guizhou for years. On the first working day after the Spring Festival Holiday, the Chinese New Year, Party officials from five levels－provincial, city, county, town and village－are required to join tree-planting activities, said Shen.
Thanks to the efforts, forestry coverage rose from 47 percent to over 62 percent in Guizhou.