Guizhou’s infrastructure development contributes to poverty-reduction

BEIJING, Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from on Guizhou, a Chinese province, carrying out a series of infrastructure projects to reduce poverty:

Located in southwest China, Guizhou is the only Chinese province with no plain. It has long been known to the Chinese from other regions as a mountainous, mysterious land. The Dong people, as one of the largest minority groups in Guizhou, built multifunctional bridges which can be served as the “common room” for the community. These bridges, locally called Fengyu (literally “Wind and Rain”) Bridges, have witnessed generations of locals’ avid to walk out of the mountains to explore the world.

However, a host of giant infrastructure projects rolled out in the past decade have reshaped the province. Nowadays, Guizhou is home to 50 out of the 100 highest bridges in the world, and many of the bridges were completed in the last decade, according to Xinhua. Rising 565 meters (1854 feet) above the deep valley, Beipanjiang Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. Pingtang Bridge opened to the public in December 2019 and helped to shorten the travel time between the two counties from over two and a half hours to about one hour.

Bridge construction being a key component, the transport networks in Guizhou improved systematically. In a speech delivered in August 2022, Shen Yiqin, Party secretary of Guizhou, described the last ten years of Guizhou as “the golden decade” — partly because of the unprecedented scale of infrastructure projects. Taking the high-speed railroad as an example, Guizhou had no high-speed railroad in 2012, while in 2021, the mileage of the high-speed railroad reached 1527 km (949 miles). A ride from the inland city Guiyang (the provincial capital of Guizhou) to the coastal metropolitan Guangzhou has been reduced from 20 hours to 4 hours.

These facts can help us grasp how Guizhou achieved its seemingly unattainable poverty-reduction goal. According to an official report, Guizhou used to be the home of the largest impoverished population in China a decade ago. In 2020, all  9.23 million impoverished people have been lifted out of poverty. A sound infrastructure played a crucial role in boosting economic growth and improving people’s living standards, for it allowed the locals better access to social welfare and external markets.