Travelogue of China invites foreigners to witness Chinese path to modernization in Chengdu
Published: Sep 12, 2023 04:11 PM
A dozen journalists from the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province to participate in the "Travelogue of China," a multilateral cultural exchange activity. 

A total of 17 journalists from 13 countries attended the five-day event, during which they immersed themselves in the vibrant life of Chengdu, experienced the cultural pulse of the "Land of Abundance" and witnessed the myriad facets of high-quality development in this garden city.

"My grandpa comes from China which gives me have a special bond with the country. However, the complicated information environment in China makes it difficult to express itself, the  Travelogue event gave me a valuable opportunity to understand China in person and finally understand the real image of China, it means a lot for me," Tan Xiao Ren, a Malaysian journalist said.

The Jinjiang River, which flows through Chengdu has nourished generation after generation of Sichuan locals. It forms a rich cultural vein in the city and has long been providing a source of water for irrigation and transportation. Nowadays, the river still retains its glory and continues to serve a key role in the area's path to the country's modernization drive. 

Chinese modernization has been a story of both  material and cultural-ethical advancement, the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and the modernization of peaceful development, said an article written by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, published in the Qiushi Journal, a flagship magazine of the CPC Central Committee.

China's modernization is not only about economic development but also about people's living environment and social values, said Zha Changming, director of News Center of the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), a leading global mega-infrastructure service provider and engineering contractor. With such commitment,the company has made significant achievements across the  Jinjiang River watershed governance, greenway construction, smart water services, urban renewal and rural revitalization.

Zha Changming (right), director of News Center of the China Communications Construction Company, explains the watershed management project to visiting foreign journalists. Photo: Global Times Online

Zha Changming (right), director of News Center of the China Communications Construction Company, explains the watershed management project to visiting foreign journalists. Photo: Global Times Online

Land of Abundance

As the main axis of the Chengdu's greenway project, the Jinjiang River watershed management project is a vivid example of CCCC's "Beautiful China" initiative. Landmarks such as the "Most Beautiful Greenway," "Riverbank Park" and "Night Tour of the Jinjiang" have shined and thrived in the city since 2017,Zha said.

Noted as "Land of Abundance," Chengdu is also the birthplace and successful demonstration area of the "Garden City" concept. Marie-Noelle Waiane, a journalist from Vanuatu told the Global Times, "Having spent a day and half exploring and appreciating the charm of both sides of the Jinjiang River, experiencing the allure of this park city, and savoring delicious Sichuan cuisine, I started to understand why my Chinese friends are desperate to stay in the city after retirement. Yaodei (which means great or fantastic in English)!" 

By making full use of the financial investment and technological capabilities and innovation of the business groups, encouraging local participation in environmental governance to enjoy the benefits and boost  living standards, the local government and the CCCC have accomplished many great things in the environmental governance and urban upgrading and transformation since 2017.

Trunk economic zones

"As a typical case of Jinjiang River watershed management project, Sanse Road night market or street vendors has emerged from northern part of the city. In the past,this place has become a convenient neighborhood that hosts recreation, entertainment, sports and tourism events," the CCCC's publicity officer said.

Foreign journalists participate in

Foreign journalists participate in "Travelogue of China" activity and explore the Sanse Road Night Markets in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. Photo: Global Times Online

The Sanse Road Block sits at the core section of the cycling lane along the Jinjiang Greenway. After its completion in 2021 during the pandemic , "trunk economic zones" featuring young people selling coffee, accessories and paintings along its leafy streets and mobile bars set up in car trunks along trendy neighborhoods emerged in this block.

Taking deep root in China, the Chinese path to modernization is in line with its national conditions. "By river dredging, laying a sewage interception pipe network and treatment, renovating greenways, and building leisure facilities for citizens, environment along the Sanse Road has been improved greatly and the quality of life of citizens has been prioritized," said Zhang Yi, an engineer of CCCC. He also said that the trunk economic zones were established thanks to ecological improvement, which doesn't just benefit residents on an individual level, but also play a positive role in the modern urban economy.

"Wandering along the Sanse Road reminds me of my hometown, we also have night markets back there. It's along the Mekong River!" Bounfaeng Phaymanivong, a journalist from Laos, said.

Rural revitalization

As a part of the watershed management project, the Jinjiang Greenway connects both the urban and the rural areas in Chengdu. The foreign journalists group also paid a visit to a well-known local village - Zhanqi village - whose story has become a successful example of the development of modern agriculture. 

Chinese modernization drive is not only the modernization of urban regions but also of the rural areas. Because there is still a huge gap between different regions, more efforts must be made to seek balanced development between urban and rural areas, so as to blaze a new path in pursuing integrated urban-rural development and promoting common prosperity for all. The 200-kilometer-long Jinjiang Greenway enables people to enjoy the lush mountains and lucid waters, and have a good experience with the Mother Nature, Zha said.

To speed up the development of the agricultural sector, Zhanqi has cultivated several new programs, including a fungus company with output value of more than100 million yuan, an organic fruit and vegetable planting base and a lavender planting base,?the First Party Secretary of Zhanqi Village Lu Xingyu told the Global Times.

China has entered an aged society, so challenges such as labor shortage, pressure on public service accessibility may occur in the process of the modernization of rural area. Could this be a problem? Claudia Tally, a journalist from Papua New Guinea, asked.

The aged population in China's rural areas is significant. As a result, the aging problem is also more protruding in rural area than in urban areas. Demographic data released in 2020 showed 10 provincial-level regions have more than 20 percent of their population surpassing 60 years old, mostly dwelling in Northeast and Southwest China.?

During the visit, Lu also noted the great pressure to cope with the aging scenario.

"Promoting agricultural mechanization is a key solution to labor shortage, meanwhile, as our village industries are thriving, we're happy to see young entrepreneurs setting up businesses here. Many college graduates are also willing to come back home to start a career," Lu said. 

"Many of my younger relatives are homestay owners in the village, we earn a good income. Last summer, my family of five earned 10,000 yuan, I think the business will be better this year. I'm living a happy life that I've never dreamed of before," Xia youqun, a 78-year-old villager, said. 

Global Times