Dec. 10, 2018 -- The West of China Tourism and Culture Photo Exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto will run through January. [Photo by NA LI/ CHINA DAILY]
Dec. 10, 2018 -- Vast landscapes, rich resources, diverse cultures and popular tourist destinations -- a photo exhibition of western China was unveiled on Tuesday at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
Presented by the Chinese Consulate-General in Toronto and the International Photographers Federation, the show offers a glimpse of the region’s remarkable landscapes, scenery and diverse cultures through 60 colorful photos.
Spanning six provinces (Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunan and Guizhou) and five autonomous regions (Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi and Ningxia), western China accounts for 72 percent of China’s land mass and less than a third of its population.
“Western China is a region full of vitality,” Chinese Consul General in Toronto Han Tao told the audience at the opening ceremony of the exhibition. “Tremendous achievements have been made in this region since the implementation of the Western Development Strategy in 1999 by the Chinese government.”
With an annual average growth rate of 8.8 percent in the past five years, the GDP of the western region reached 17 trillion yuan (CAD $3.31 trillion) in 2017, according to Han.
The length of railways in operation in the region has surpassed 54,000 kilometres, of which 7,618 kilometres are high-speed railways. At the same time, the length of expressways open to traffic hit 50,000 kilometres, while the number of airports reached 114, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the country’s total.
Han also praised the region’s many charms. “You will find yourself not only enjoying landscapes as breathtaking as Banff and Yellowknife, but also experiencing vibrant cultures and colourful art while basking in the hospitality of 45 ethnic groups,” he said.
With abundant energy and mineral resources, a huge consumer market and an important strategic location, the region is full of opportunities as well, Han said.
“This region is the gateway of the Belt and Road Initiative,” Han added. “As the Belt and Road continues to make progress, western China will become a powerful economic driver for the Chinese economy in the future.”
The Belt and Road Initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
“Seeing is believing,” Han concluded. “I hope the exhibition encourages you to begin an adventure to western China.”
The exhibition will be on view at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto and Covent Garden Market in London, Ontario, through January.