On December 22, 2020, the 2020 “Belt and Road” Beautiful Countryside Forum, co-sponsored by World Tourism Alliance (WTA), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the People’s Government of Gansu Province, and the French “Belt and Road” Beautiful Countryside Alliance, was successfully held in Longnan City, Gansu Province. Duan Qiang, Chairman of WTA, Sun Wei, Deputy Party Secretary of the CPC Gansu Provincial Committee, and Liu Huanxin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, attended and addressed this Forum. This event attracted more than 200 participants, including ambassadors or representatives of Pakistan, Thailand, Nepal and other countries to China as well as international organizations, experts and enterprise representatives.
Duan Qiang, Chairman of WTA
In his speech, Duan said, in recent years, the rapid development of tourism had served as a strong driver in promoting the sustainable economic and social development of rural areas, injecting a strong impetus for building a beautiful countryside that was livable, industry-friendly and travel-friendly. At the state level, tourism has become an important industry for some developing countries to develop their economy and promote poverty reduction in rural areas; at the industry level, tourism has formed a strong driving effect on the development of related industries in rural areas; at the cultural level, tourism development contributes to the protection and innovation of traditional culture in rural areas; and at the ecological level, tourism development can help improve the ecological environment in rural areas. WTA will also continue to integrate their resources, optimize relevant platforms, and pool the strength of global members and worldwide partners to strengthen cooperation with other parties in the international community in the construction of “Beautiful Countryside” and to explore ways to jointly establish a think tank of practices on poverty alleviation through tourism and carry out research on promoting rural construction through tourism, intangible cultural heritage protection and other public benefit activities.
Sun Wei, Deputy Party Secretary of the CPC Gansu Provincial Committee
Sun said, Gansu would promote green construction of rural areas, as well as the expansion and sublimation of “local beauty” to “all-for-one beauty”; accelerate the transformation from “beautiful resources” to “beautiful economy” driven by development; stick to people orientation, and promote the transformation of “development by beauty” into “income increase by beauty”; build a bridge of cooperation and seek win-win cooperation between “beauty for locality” and “beauty for all”. It was hoped that all participants give your insights into the Forum theme, share views on cooperation in the co-construction of “Beautiful Countryside” and contribute wisdom and strength to the construction of “Beautiful Countryside”.
Liu Huanxin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Liu said, in recent years, China had kicked off a new-round construction of “Beautiful Countryside” with the implementation of rural revitalization strategy as the starting point, bringing all-round historical changes in vast rural areas. “Beautiful Countryside” conveyed people’s yearning for a better life, especially for poetic inhabitation in the countryside. It had opened a door to pastoral sentiment for people, ushered in a brand-new road for villages, and prepared pen, ink, paper and inkstone for people to draw a beautiful picture.
Mr. Denis Laming, President of the French “Belt and Road” Beautiful Countryside Alliance, Ms. Franz Gino, Vice President of French Beautiful Countryside Alliance, and Mr. Christian de Boissieu, a famous French economist, respectively delivered a video speech, expounding new views on the construction of “Beautiful Countryside”.
Zhujiagou Village, Kang County
In the afternoon, the participants jointly visited Kang County, Longnan City, to learn about their progress in “Beautiful Countryside” construction, and conducted field investigations in Wuba Village, Zhujiagou Village, Huaqiao Village and other “Beautiful Countryside” demonstration sites. It was reported that, in its construction of “Beautiful Countryside”, Gansu integrated the beautiful ecological environment, unique residential style, profound farming civilization and rural culture, colorful folk customs, elegant village scenery and good spirit in an all-round manner, setting an example for the construction of “Beautiful Countryside” in China.
In October last year, Gansu initiated and established the “Belt and Road” Beautiful Countryside Alliance and successfully held the 1st Forum, creating a precedent for integrated development of the “Belt and Road” initiative and “Beautiful Countryside” construction and enriching the connotation of exchanges and cooperation between countries and regions along the “Belt and Road”. This forum was themed on the Co-Construction of Beautiful Countryside in Cooperation with the “Belt and Road” Initiative. At the Forum, the participants shared experience and practices, and built consensus on development centering on the construction and operation of “Beautiful Countryside”, rural industry development, cultural tourism development, all-round rural revitalization, etc., and jointly developed the plans for construction of “Beautiful Countryside” by pooling social force.
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