China: Urbanization brings uncertainty to pastoral lifestyle in remote Xinjiang | Land Portal

By: Xu Shanshan

Date: January 5th 2017


Due to rapid urban area expansion, some 300,000 sq. km of particularly fertile cropland will be lost by 2030.

Xinjiang, on China's border with Kazakhstan, has become a frontier as the ancient Silk Road is reinvigorated. The revival has catapulted the small mountainous village of Qiongkushitai to the forefront of China's national policy, but the influx of development and urbanization has severely affected the region's local people and traditional culture.

Qiongkushitai Village is home to 300 Kazakh families, generations after generations of whom have enjoyed a pastoral lifestyle.

Aby Johmubay, an 86-year-old, told CGTN's reporter Han Bin that he has been roaming the grasslands for as long as he can remember.

The ancient lifestyle has changed since the village was listed as China's State Historical and Cultural Village in 2011. The honor brought lots of visitors, but the influx of tourists also broke the peaceful nomadic life, the old herdsman said. He warned that the centuries-old lifestyle enjoyed by his ancestors is disappearing.

But Aby's grandson Ehye Bahyar embraced the change. The younger man said more people are now operating farmhouse tourism, and added that he wanted to see the outside world and make some money.


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Photo source: Peter Morgan via Flickr/Creative Commons (CC By-NC-ND 2.0). Photo: © Peter Morgan

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