The opening ceremony of 2020“Belt and Road”Beautiful Countryside Forum, held in Longnan on December 22, was hosted by Gansu Provincial Government, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the PRC, World Tourism Alliance and Beautiful Villages Association of “Belt and Road” Initiative, and co-hosted by Gansu Agriculture and Rural Affairs Bureau, Gansu Culture and Tourism Bureau, CPC Longnan Municipal Committee, Longnan Municipal Government and Cultural Exchange Organization of Presenting China to the World.
Guests from both at home and abroad attended the forum including vice minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Liu Huanxin, deputy secretary of CPC Gansu Provincial Committee Sun Wei, vice governor of Gansu Province and Secretary of CPC Longnan Municipal Committee Sun Xuetao, president of World Tourism Alliance Duan Qiang, former Party group deputy secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, vice minister and director-general of China Agricultural Green Development Research Society Yu Xinrong, leaders from Cultural Exchange Organization of Presenting China to the World, Thailand ambassador to China Arthayudh Srisamoot, Nepal ambassador to China Mahendra Pandey, Pakistan ambassador to China Mr. Moin Ul Haque, South Korean Consul General in Xi’an Kim Byeong kwon, Cambodian Consul General in Xi’an Som Visal, UN World Food Programme Representative China, Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretariat, Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization and guests from Malaysia, Uruguay, South Africa, Hungary,Ukrain and etc. Among them, vice minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Liu Huanxin and deputy secretary of CPC Gansu Provincial Committee Sun Wei delivered a speech respectively while a keynote speech was given by President of World Tourism Alliance Duan Qiang.
Deputy secretary of CPC Gansu Provincial Committee Sun Wei pointed out in his speech that Gansu would make its countryside green, upgrading from “beauty in several regions” to “beauty in the entire province”; would develop and transition from “beauty resources”towards “beauty economy”; would bear in mind the importance of satisfying people’s basic needs to move from “development by virtue of beauty” to “life of prosperity driven by beauty”; would take part in cooperation to achieve win-win results by replacing “benefit from one’s own beauty”with “benefit from each other’s beauty”.
Duan Qiang, president of World Tourism Alliance said that at a state level, tourism has become a critical industry for some developing countries to improve economy and advance poverty alleviation in countryside; at an industrial level, it has become a key driver in developing tourism-related industries in rural areas; at a cultural level, development of tourism helps to preserve and innovate traditional rural culture; at a ecological level, it improves rural ecological environment.
Nepal ambassador to China Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said that the Belt and Road Initiative was supposed to emphasize on nature conservation. At the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in April 2019, leaders from countries along the Belt and Road route reaffirmed that they would work to achieve a vigorous, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth while creating a prosperous and peaceful world where people share the same future and their livelihoods are improved. The ambassador applauded the organizers of the forum for their initiative to hold this forum which would improve countries’ awareness of protecting the environment, promote international cooperation and create a promising future for everyone at the same time.
Previous Party group deputy secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, vice minister and director-general China Agricultural Green Development Research Society Yu Xinrong said that it was known that beautiful villages could only be founded if rural industries are thriving and environmentally friendly. Nowadays as China’s rural economy has transitioned from external expansion to internal competition, the only way for developed and developing countries to revitalize rural industries is scientific and technological advancement even though development paths for rural industries differ from region to region. As China ushered in a new era of green agriculture and digital economy, understanding increasing effects of digital technologies for green agriculture on China’s agricultural modernization is important for regions to formulate proper agricultural policies.
Speeches were delivered via video by president of the Beautiful Villages Association of“Belt and Road”Initiative Danise Laming, renowned French economist Mr. Christian de Boissieu, Pakistan ambassador to China Moin Ul Haque and Ukrainian ambassador in China Sergiy Kamyshev. Besides, speeches included the one made by vice president of the Beautiful Villages Association of “Belt and Road” Initiative Gino Frantz and the keynote speech made by Mr. Yuxinrong, previous Party group deputy secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, vice minister and director-general China Agricultural Green Development Research Society.
The forum consisted of a main forum and three sub-forums. The main forum, on which speeches were delivered by guests, projects contracts were signed, awards ceremony was organized and three stages of the Longnan Campaign was launched, was held in Kangxian County on the morning of December 22. The sub-forum will be held in Wudu district, Longnan city on December 23. The forum themed on working together with “Belt and Road” countries to build beautiful villages provided a platform where attendees will illustrate advanced philosophy and ideas, share successful experiences and deepen exchanges and cooperation. As a result, different intelligent ideas will be formed, collide and sparkle,painting a spectacle of Belt and Road beautiful village.
Kangxian County, where the main forum was held, continued to build beautiful villages over the past few years. Beautiful villages have been founded in 342 out of 350 villages in the county, four state-level tourist destinations ranking 4A have been established and 70 rural tourism demonstration villages have become the most influential ones in Gansu province and across the country. The county also focus on living environment improvement and mutual management and shared use of public facilities. Thus, it has moved from building and managing beautiful villages to establishing a tourist destination across the region, creating a new scene where urban and rural areas coexist while maintaining their differences.
Launched by Gansu province and co-founded by Shaanxi, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuang, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang province, the Belt and Road Beautiful Countryside Forum aims to promote cooperation among village cultural tourist destinations, advance coordinated development of regional industries and establish a co-founding mechanism of beautiful villages.