Home to the largest population of ethnic minorities in the country, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has been reshaping its image from an economic backwater to a booming border trade hub, drawing strength from its sea and land links with Southeast Asia, in recent decades.

During his latest inspection tour from Sunday to Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for more efforts to break new grounds in promoting high-quality development in border ethnic regions.

High-quality Development in Line with Local Realities

Guangxi is among several border regions that are benefiting from China’s greater opening up and the building of the Belt & Road Initiative.

Boasting both sea and land links with Southeast Asia, Guangxi has cast itself as an important gateway to ASEAN Countries and plays a key role in the construction of the Belt & Road Initiative to build Trade & Infrastructure Networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa.

During the tour, Xi stressed synergizing Guangxi’s development with the country’s major national strategies such as the construction of Yangtze River Economic Belt & Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

To further turn unique geographical position into advantages in open development, President Xi noted that the region should integrate itself into joint construction of Belt & Road, promote pilot free trade zones, and China-ASEAN cooperation.

Rural Vitalization with focus on Ecological Civilization

From 2016 to 2020, the number of the poor dropped by 15.6 million in the country’s five Autonomous Regions; Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia, Xinjiang and three provinces with a large multi-ethnic population – Guizhou, Yunnan and Qinghai, according to the white paper issued by the State Council Information Office, titled “Poverty Alleviation: China’s Experience and Contribution.”

China will continue to support the development of industries with distinctive features in poverty alleviation areas, Xi said during the tour, stressing efforts in integrating carbon emission peak and carbon neutrality into the country’s overall plan for economic and social development and ecological progress.

On Sunday when inspecting a section of the Lijiang River, he described the river as the “one-and-only treasure” of China and the world, saying that its ecological environment should never be damaged.

When addressing the Leaders Summit on Climate last week, Xi also called on the whole world to build a community of life together.

During the inspection, the president also mentioned the importance of learning the history of the Communist Party of China and visited a memorial park dedicated to the Battle of the Xiangjiang River during the Long March in the 1930s.