Headline News


County town in Sichuan witnesses great changes

Source: Xinhua | 04-03-2009 17:55

Special Report:   Tibet in 50 Years

BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Right after 9 am, 78-year-old Pengcuo goes shopping in a free market nearby. Although it is only a hundred meters away from his home, he prefers to take a detour of hundreds of meters, just to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and the flowing of river water. For him, they are "three treasures for senior citizens in the morning."

"To enjoy the sunshine, breathe fresh air and listen to the flowing of a river is good not only to my body, but also to my mind," said Pengcuo, a resident of Maerkang County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest of Sichuan Province.

The county town that offers Pengcuo the "three treasures" has just been granted the title of "Civilization County Town" in China. As the capital of the prefecture, it has 50,000 residents of 15 ethnic groups, with Tibetans making up 70 percent of the total population.

"Do you know what Maerkang looked like 50 years ago?" asked Pengcuo. "It was not only poor, but also dirty and messy."

As it is written in the "Historical Record of Maerkang County," before 1951, there were only one monastery, one government office and 20 shabby houses of mud and stones in the county town. Scattered among them were tents built by bypassing peddlers and laborers.