China to rebuild quake-hit Yushu into tourist city

Updated: 2011-01-18 19:38
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XINING - Authorities in Northwest China's Qinghai province are planning to rebuild the earthquake-levelled county of Yushu into a tourist city.

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More than 2,200 people were killed after the 7.1-magnitude quake struck Yushu on April 14 last year, a predominantly Tibetan area that is under the jurisdiction of the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Yushu.

The entire town of Gyegu, the seat of Yushu prefectural government, was flattened, leaving more than 100,000 residents homeless.

"In light of the post-quake rebuilding work and Qinghai's urbanization drive, we will build Yushu county into a city with a new temporary name of Sanjiangyuan," Luo Huining, governor of Qinghai province said Tuesday at an annual session of the local legislature.

Yushu is at the headwaters of three major Chinese rivers - the Yellow, the Yangtze and the Lancang rivers - and the place is also referred to as "Sanjiangyuan" in Chinese, which means "the source of three rivers."

"We rename Yushu county as Sanjiangyuan city with a view to highlighting the area's strategic geological significance of being the source of three rivers," said Wang Yuhu, head of the Yushu prefectural government.

"We will strive to build Gyegu town into a commerce and logistics center and a tourist city featuring ethnic traditional Tibetan culture and ecological preservation," he said.