For a period of time between 2011 and 2015 I was fortunate to visit China on 7 occasions. 5 of the visits were to Guizhou but additionally I visited Sichuan, Gansu and Beijing.
My first visit we travelled around in a 4x4. The roads were long and in the main bumpy. Travelling from village to village you could not help notice construction and building on a massive scale.
Guizhou as a major coal producing province had closed most of the mines. Faced with unemployment and and poverty the government decided to develop the province in to a tourist destination.
The ethnic minorities now officially recognised by Beijing were being re-educated. They were reintroduced to their rich past, culture and traditions. The villages were transformed into living cultural Center’s. These glitzy living shows performed as by the whole village were developed to introduce old China to a new China.
On my last visit, the bumpy roads had been replaced by 3 lane highways, modern western hotels were everywhere. Wine and beer imported from around the world replaced “The Great Wall” wine available on my first trip and Paul McCartney played in the background. Guizhou had changed.
My over ridding impression and memories were the people and the children. China’s future.
As China goes forward the children will be responsible in forming China.