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Across China: City of eternal spring embraces greenness, openess

KUNMING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- "The weather in Kunming consistently mirrors the days of February and March, while the perpetual blooming of flowers evokes the essence of spring," penned Yang Shen, a gifted poet of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), captivated by the delightful climate of Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Dubbed the "city of eternal spring" for its pleasant climate throughout the year, Kunming boasts a rich history spanning around 2,300 years. Embracing its historical and cultural treasures, the city cherishes its unique charm and endeavors to create a more livable environment, drawing strength from its natural beauty.

PRESERVE THE NATURE

Nestled amidst the embrace of mountains on three sides and graced by the shimmering Dianchi Lake on the other, Kunming unfolds as a city of breathtaking beauty.

Dianchi Lake, the largest freshwater lake on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, sprawls across more than 300 square kilometers.

Reserved as the "sparkling pearl embedded in highland," Dianchi Lake is the major source of water for industrial and agricultural use in Kunming and also plays a key role in balancing the city's environment.

The picturesque scenes changed in the late 1980s when the lake became murky because of the industrial and domestic waste discharged into it. The lake's surface was covered with a layer of blue-green algae caused by an influx of wastewater containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and other harmful substances.

To protect Dianchi Lake, the central government and Yunnan provincial authorities then implemented a series of measures to restore its lost splendor.

Earlier efforts have already yielded promising results, as the water quality of Dianchi Lake has gradually improved, accompanied by the return of endangered species to its revitalized ecosystem.

Since 1985, red-billed birds have been migrating to Kunming from Siberia and other regions every winter.

In March this year, as the red-billed birds embarked on their journey back north, Liu Biheng, a 46-year-old resident of Kunming, seized the opportunity to take his kid to Dianchi Lake to bid farewell to the gulls.

"I used to come here with my parents to observe the graceful gulls. Now I bring my own child here, with the hope that he would learn the importance of caring for the birds, cherishing nature, and nurturing the city from an early age," Liu said.

OPEN TO THE WORLD

On the morning of June 1, a special train of the China-Laos railway carrying dozens of cold chain containers full of Thai durian and mangosteen slowly entered Kunming. The cargo received utmost priority in various areas, from unloading to delivery, ensuring their swift distribution across China.

The China-Laos Railway, a landmark project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, began operations in December 2021. The 1,035-km railway connects China's Kunming with Vientiane in Laos.

Witnessing the rapid pace of Kunming's opening up, it comes as no surprise that by the end of June 3 this year, the railway had handled 16.4 million passenger trips and 21 million tonnes of goods, signifying its role as a golden passage for trade and travel.

Kunming boasts a long-standing history of openness and personnel exchanges. Excavations at the ruins of the noble cemetery from the ancient Dian Kingdom, a regional regime that was mainly in the central and eastern regions of Yunnan centered on Dianchi Lake, have yielded abundant shellfish coins from the Indian Ocean.

Also, bronze drums originating from the ancient Dian Kingdom have been found in Vietnam, Laos, and other countries, attesting to the kingdom's robust economic, trade, and cultural connections with Southeast Asia and South Asia.

In recent years, Yunnan has actively embraced its role within the "Belt and Road Initiative," strategically integrating itself and propelling the development of China's radiating center towards South Asia and Southeast Asia.

At the heart of this expansion lies Kunming, steadfast in its commitment to becoming a regional international central city. Over the years, Kunming's doors to the outside world are increasingly wider, signaling its resolute dedication to fostering global connections and opportunities.