Protection project brings old town back to life

By Hou Liqiang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-12 09:37
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Tourists visit Huanghua Island in the Yangtze River in Zhongxian county, Chongqing, on Sept 20. WANG QUANCHAO/XINHUA

A fund related to follow-up work on the Three Gorges Reservoir has helped to attract tourists and improve local people's lives. Hou Liqiang reports from Chongqing.

Three years ago, Wang Suqin was desperate to move from the home she had occupied for nearly four decades in Zhongxian county in the southwestern mega city of Chongqing.

In the 20 counties covered by the Three Gorges Reservoir, the old town of Zhongxian, where Wang's home is located, represents the only urban area whose appearance is the same as it was before the project started in 1993.

Construction work quickly saw new buildings tower over nearby areas, leaving the 0.5-square-kilometer old town a pale shell by comparison. "The old town was bleak. Many people chose to move away," the 73-year-old recalled.

Now, though, Wang has changed her mind and said she will never leave.

Her change of attitude came thanks to a project launched by local authorities, with the help of funding from the central government, for follow-up work in the area around the reservoir, with a key element being the preservation of the local culture.

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