Guizhou finds way out of poverty

Updated: 2013-05-20 08:10

By Gao Anming, Yang Jun and Yang Wanli in Guiyang (China Daily)

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Guizhou finds way out of poverty

Guizhou, a mountainous province that was once one of China's poorest places, is pressing ahead to improve people's well-being, helping enterprises progress and emphasizing environmental protection.

In 2012, the province ranked second in the nation in per capita GDP growth.

"Our strategy is for 90 percent of Guizhou residents to enjoy a prosperous life by 2020. Although the outcome could be shown by indices, people's feeling of happiness will speak for itself," Zhao Kezhi, Guizhou provincial Party secretary, said in an interview with China Daily.

"We are playing a crucial role in China's dream of building a well-off society by 2020. If people's livelihoods in Guizhou show promising improvement by then, the nationwide dream will be accomplished," he said.

Getting prosperous and building a well-off society is never an easy task for Guizhou.

More than 90 percent of the Southwest China province's land is mountainous.

Because of its geographic condition and poor education, Guizhou has 9.23 million people falling under the national poverty line of 2,300 yuan ($370) per year. The province was considered poor for more than a decade.

In 2012, investment in the province rose by 35 percent year-on-year. Its bank savings rose by 23 percent in the past year, which ranks first in the nation.

To better evaluate the improvement of people's livelihood, Zhao said, the government has made a clear aim that per capita GDP in Guizhou will reach $5,000 by 2020.

While maintaining rapid economic growth, Guizhou isn't sidestepping building an environmentally friendly province and keeping its ecological balance.

"Construction should give way to the protection of the environment" has become an important guide to construction for the provincial government.

Guizhou finds way out of poverty

At 41 percent, Guizhou has China's largest forest coverage, which helps keep the air clean. PM 2.5, or fine particulate matter, is 40 to 60 microgram per cubic meter in Guiyang, the provincial capital.

Thanks to its good environment, Guizhou will host the Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference - the first country level forum of ecological construction - in July this year.

With rich natural resources and various minority cultures, Guizhou also plans to boost its tobacco, tea, wine, local cuisine and Chinese herb industries.

Apart from economic development, Guizhou is also paying attention to education and medical services.

In the next three years, senior high school education will be universal in the province. The provincial government has decided to build 100 vocational schools.

According to Zhao, more than 10,000 physicians and teachers will be recruited from border provinces to work in southeast Guizhou.

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