In Pictures: China's Guizhou Province

Despite rapid growth, the historically poor region continues to struggle with underdevelopment and emigration.


Guiyang, China - Once the poorest province in China, Guizhou is now experiencing rapid development. Last year, farmers' average income in the southern province increased by 16 percent, according to state media.

Yet despite the growth, the region remains poor and relatively undeveloped. Some villages have no electricity or nearby source of drinking water.

In the village of Lina, 300 kilometres away from the provincial capital, the narrow, bumpy roads become impassable after it rains. Most of the villagers use motorcycles to get around, and people walk kilometres to bring back drinking water.

Many young people refuse to stay in the village, and look for work elsewhere. Thirty-two-year-old Qi Mingzheng has worked in Shenzhen - population 10 million - for five years now, coming home once a year. Qi regularly sends money to his parents, but it's barely enough, given that he also has to support his wife and seven-year-old daughter.

"Only old ones stay here," he says. They still work in the fields, cultivating sugarcane and maize. Farmers can sell a ton of sugarcane for 450 RMB ($72) - a 13 percent drop from last year's prices, which shocked most of the village's farmers. "It's a hard place to live," Qi adds.