Asia

Emerging city

Buildings are shrouded in morning fog in Bijie, in China’s southwestern Guizhou province.

The city, tucked deep in the karst mountains of Guizhou, neighbours Yunnan province to the east and Sichuan province to the north.

Formerly one of China’s most impoverished cities, it is home to many residents relocated from rural villages into newly built townships and city districts – recipients of a massive social re-engineering project designed to tackle long-standing rural poverty.

Some 1,591 impoverished villages have been gradually replaced by 139 modern centralised settlement housing, according to China’s Global Times.

Starting in 2015, local governments built more than one million kilometres of roads, threading together once far-flung communities to more prosperous economic hubs. In 2019, China’s first “mountain high-speed rail”, the Chengdu-Guiyang High-speed Railway, started operating, providing the mountainous city with a speedy pathway to eastern and southern coastal regions.

Bijie, with an elevation of above 1,700m and a monsoon-influenced subtropical highland climate with warm, rainy summers and cool, damp winters, produces many famous organic specialities, including tea, bamboo fungus and walnut.

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