The Vista of “New Central Shaanxi”-A Survey of Modern Pastoral Style

2017-04-21 09:50:15 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Waterfowl playing in Luowen River

Golden rapeseed flowers on Weihe River bank

A glorious sunset at Luowen River bank

What’s modern pastoral style?

“Live in a house, drinking mountain spring water and enjoying the summer lotus blossom at your front door.”

“Fresh air, blue mountains and green waters.”

“Self-employed ‘happy rural life’ in the orchard.”

There are a thousand styles in a thousand people's eyes.

On February 7th, the concept of “building a modern pastoral Central Shaanxi integrated with culture, water and flower” was proposed at the provincial rural work conference.

Flower: enjoy fresh air everywhere

On April 1st, as you drive to Huazhou District on the expressway, especially the Huazhou section of Weiyu Expressway, the forest belt on both sides with exuberant green foliage will catch your eyes. When you roll down the car window to feel the gentle breeze, the fresh air will refresh your mind.

After one-hour’s drive, Maojiagou Village with two rows of red brick and gray tile houses is in front of you. The quiet street extending 200 m is full of necessary public facilities. Booths for goods display prepared by villagers are surrounded by visitors in threes or fives.

The most attracting views are small bamboo forest and rose flowers ready to burst beside the walls enclosed by stone fences. The bamboos and flowers are not abundant, but excellent enough for visitors to the Maoshi Memorial Temple and the Maojiagou Ancient Village Site.

Entering into Cheng Mei’s yard, you will find two attractive square nurseries and an old apricot tree. A family of three from Xi’an came to visit the Memorial Temple and said: “we take our child here to appreciate the local culture and to our great surprise that the air is so fresh, and it’s wonderful to sit in the yard and taste the home-made fried noodles!”

“In the past, this was a poor village with little public facilities and nobody came to visit us. Later, thanks to the support of the Government, we planted bamboo and rose flower. Necessary public facilities were also equipped”. When talking about the changes in the village and personal income, Cheng Mei was excited. “The air condition here is improved, and the completion of the Memorial Temple attracts visitors too, so I’m running a ‘happy rural life’ restaurant to sell fried noodles. During busy time, my daily income amounts to 400 yuan!”

Maojiagou Village is one of the environmental-friendly villages in Huazhou District. Wangshizi Village also boasts green mountains and fresh air with varied trees and flowers of more than 2000 mu. “During blossom period, the beauty here is beyond praise and everywhere is filled with fresh air.” Liang Jie, Ministry of Agriculture and Industry, Huazhou District told the journalist: “this is a paradise of trees and flowers!”

Person in charge of the Forestry Bureau in Huazhou District of Weinan said: “in response to the appeal of “building a forest city”, we started an afforestation campaign this spring to plant trees along expressways, construct seedling and flower industry base and establish ecological village project.”

A staff member from the Department of Forest said: “the planting of seedling, flower and tree is an effective measure to improve air condition and reduce severe smog. In addition, afforestation will bring outstanding economic, social and ecological benefits in the process of building green city and forest city.”

Water: wetlands in county and water in town

On January 5th, Shaanxi Provincial Standing Committee made a monographic study of the water system planning in Central Shaanxi and included Central Shaanxi water system construction and the project of ecological restoration of “eight rivers flowing around Chang’an” (the old name for Xi’an in ancient times) in essentials of 2017 working plan and the implementing plan of“Catching up with and Surpassing the Advanced Economies”. According to the overall planning, wetlands and water dotted around counties and townships will be brought about through several years of endeavor.

Standing on the platform of flood diversion area, overlooking the Luowen River, what catch one’s eyes are the blue sky blended with rippling water, abundance of lush green vegetation and playing waterfowl. Visitors will marvel at the exceptional views.

A staff member from Water Authority of Huazhou District introduced that flood diversion, storage and detention project is a flood control and security project located between Shidi River and Luowen River, covering an area of 7073 mu and water surface area of 4152 mu with depth of storage 1.6-2.1 m and storage capacity of 4.95 million cubic meter. The water storage and test run of flood diversion area of Luowen River in the east area have finished in 2014. At present, earthwork and greening are finished in the west area. The east and west lake area have been connected, and water storage and test run will be carried out in June.

Wang Ying form the Forestry Bureau in Huazhou District said: “the artificial lake wetlands in this area are not only storage and detention measures against flood, but also measures to regulate the climate and maintain biodiversity. In addition, the groundwater resources have been replenished, the local ecological environment and been improved and the tourism industry has been promoted.”

Central Shaanxi is lack of water resources, and it is the common expectation of Shaanxi people to have wetlands in county and water in town.

Wang Yu from Water Resources Department of Shaanxi Province explained that according to overall layout of Central Shaanxi water system planning, the upstream embankment and banks will be covered with trees and grass to conserve soil and water; the middle stream area is for flood storage reservoir and connection project of rivers, lakes and reservoirs; the downstream is reserved for artificial wetlands. In 2030, flood storage and detention areas will be increased to 10 and the river and lake volume will reach 820 million cubic meter; 279 sewage treatment plants will be constructed or expanded to increase sewage treatment capacity by 2.9 million ton/day; 371 artificial wetlands and 802 waterfront landscapes including city lakes, wetland parks, waterfront leisure facilities will be constructed.

Wang Yu said: “Our aim is to have wetlands in county and water in town. We will accelerate our pace in wetland construction and restoration, and reduction of sewage into the river. More waterfront landscapes will be developed and leisure facilities established.

Gao Xuyan from Shaanxi Province Institute of Water Resources and Electric Power Investigation and Design said: “Wetlands function as kidney on earth. Wetlands not only provide water for industry, agriculture, production and daily life, but also replenish underground water, purify water and prevent pollution. In the long run, wetlands also regulate ecological balance, serving as habitat for animals and plants and providing food for migratory species of wild animals.”

According to assessment from authority department, annual particle absorption amount of the forests and wetlands in Central Shaanxi equals to particle emission of 21.24 million vehicles, and the annual carbon absorption amount equals the volume of 500 m Xi’an City Wall. The annual total value gained through forestry against severe smog reached 537.2 billion yuan, which is equivalent to 29% of Shaanxi’s GDP in 2015.

Culture: Central Shaanxi people’s confidence in long-standing culture

As a “land of natural abundance” filled with trees and flowers and surrounded by rivers, Shaanxi cultural goes back to time immemorial. Prehistoric civilization of Lantian Ape Man and Banpo Museum, the prosperity of Zhou Dynasty, Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty and Tang Dynasty, the wide spread Qinqiang Opera and folk art are all embodiment of cultural heritage and tradition in Central Shaanxi. From ancient times to the present, local people in Central Shaanxi are proud of their culture origin.

Maojiagou Village is an example of cultural tradition. The administrator of the Maoshi Memorial Temple, an old man with black-rimmed glasses and in grey Chinese tunic suit, pointed to the Story of Origin at the gate of the Temple, said: “story is not only the basic element of culture, but also the soul of it, and the integration of culture and soul makes people confident.”

Cultural industry in Maojiagou Village has been established based on its cultural origin. Combined with advantages of local flower industry, country tours have been further developed. Within a year, the village has attracted 80 thousand visitors and an investment project of 50 million yuan. Cultural industry stimulated country tours and as a result, Maojiagou people have gotten rid of poverty and gained self-confidence.

Getting rid of poverty is not the full embodiment of Central Shaanxi culture, Gao Xuyan argues that the water system construction is also an integral part of it. She said: “waterfront landscapes and culture will be established on the basis of historical and regional culture. Tang style in Xi’an, Qin culture in Xianyang, Bronze Ware in Baoji and the ancient water control culture are also represented in the planning.”

In addition to traditional culture, modern and contemporary culture also prevails in Central Shaanxi area. The movie and television industry area constructed by Wanda Group and Western Movie Group strengthened the economic competitiveness and promoted the cultural soft power and cultural confidence to a new level.

Gao Chunyan, Associate Professor of School of Journalism & Communication, Northwest University considered that the contemporary culture is no longer an isolated one, and it becomes cultural products integrated with science, technology and information and needs modern capital operation. The only way to achieve the win-win situation of culture and economy is to alter backward thoughts on cultural industry. Cultural industry groups with Chinese traditional characteristics and Central Shaanxi features will be constructed. The Bailuyuan Studio is an example of movie and television culture with series of culture products including movie, television and drama.

The implementation of “the Belt and Road” linked the cultural industry in Shaanxi Province to the outside world, laying a solid foundation for cultural industry to “Go Global”. “In the process of cultural excavation and development, great importance shall be paid to international dissemination and strategies of gaining the initiative and self-reliance shall be followed. Besides, culture connotation and the spirit of contemporary people shall be included to impart the strong sense of the times to cultural industry in Central Shaanxi”, said Gao Chunyan.