Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, located in the southwest of Sichuan province, is China’s largest concentrated community inhabited by Yi People. It covers an area of 60,400 square kilometers with 16 counties and one city under its jurisdiction. Muli is one of the only two Tibetan Autonomous counties in China. Liangshan is home to 14 ethnic groups, such as Yi, Han, Tibetan, Hui, Mongolian, and so on. By the end of 2019, it had a population of 5.3103 million by household registration, of which the population of minority ethnic groups was 3.0397 million accounting for 57.25 percent of the total. The population of the Yi people was 2.8588 million, accounting for 53.62 percent of the total. In 1935, the Central Red Army’s Long March through Liangshan and the Yihai Alliance wrote a glorious page in the history of Chinese revolutionary. It is the first practical example of the ethnic policy of the Communist Party of China. In 1950, Liangshan was liberated. In 1952, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture was established. The democratic reform in Liangshan in 1956 helped Liangshan transform from slave society to socialist one, taking “a step over 1000 years” in social form. In 1978, nine counties of the former Liangshan prefecture and 7 counties of the former Xichang prefecture were put together to establish the current Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture.
Liangshan is famous for its rich resources all over China. The clean energy is abundant. Hydropower resources’ technical exploitation amount is more than 70 million kilowatt, accounting for 15 percent of the national total. The ecological tourism resources are colorful. Such places of interest as Qionghai Lake, Lushan Mountain, Lugu Lake and Xichang Satellite Launch Centre are well-known both at home and abroad. The green agricultural resources are plentiful. Liangshan is a predominant area of agricultural products in China and an optimum place for the development of distinctive green agriculture. Blessed with rich strategic resources, Liangshan is the core area of Panxi National Strategic Resources Innovation and Development Pilot Zone. The ethnic cultural resources are charming. Yi people’s Torch Festival is inscribed in the alternative list of the World Intangible Cultural Heritages. The Yi people’s culture, Tibetan village culture, Mosuo culture and cultures of other ethnic groups add radiance to each other.
Liangshan is a typical deeply impoverished area in China, which was resulted from several reasons. Causes such as nature, society and history have led to low productivity, and slow social development. The backward development foundation, special social problems, material poverty and spiritual poverty are interwoven with each other to make Liangshan a typical regional sample of overall deep poverty in China. All the 11 counties inhabited by minority ethnic groups are deep poverty-stricken counties. 2,072 villages with 970,000 poverty-stricken people have been identified through precision measures. By the end of 2019, those that hadn’t been lifted out of poverty included 300 villages with 178,000 people in 7 counties.
The Party Central Committee pays great attention to Liangshan’s development. On the eve of Spring Festival in 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping inspected Liangshan to make a series of important instructions and “placed great expectations on Liangshan”. The CPC Sichuan Provincial Committee and Sichuan People’s Government have customized 32 policy measures and 16 work measures to help Liangshan secure victory over poverty alleviation though in a comprehensive way. All the people in Liangshan have been greatly inspired to get dedicated to the most significant task of poverty alleviation and the top priority of transformation development. Liangshan will unswervingly make great strides along the road guided by General Secretary Xi Jinping.
In 2019, 318 poverty-stricken villages and 142,000 impoverished people got rid of poverty. A total of 1772 villages and 805,000 people have been lifted out of poverty, and the poverty incidence rate dropped to 4 percent. Liangshan’s total GDP reached RMB 167.3 billion yuan and local general public budgetary revenue reached RMB 15.36 billion yuan, and both indexes topped the list among the 30 minority autonomous prefectures in China. Liangshan was named “The Nationwide National Unity and Progress Demonstration Prefecture”.