Qiunatong, where the NYT article below is based, is the village I wrote my MA thesis on (https://www.academia.edu/7405929/The_Role_of_Tourism_as_a_Strategy_for_Rural_Community_Development_Evidence_from_Yunnan_Province_China). Qiunatong is a small village in the heart of the Nujiang Gorge in NW Yunnan just south of the Tibetan border. It is an area of immense natural beauty and immeasurable value to the ecosystem with steep snow covered forested peaks plummeting into deep turquoise green waters. While villagers in Qiunatong could have profited from tourism development, already then they worried about insecure tenure rights and having their land appropriated by the government. As my thesis concludes then, “more research should be conducted on the tensions between tourism development versus natural resource exploitation under Western Development Strategy in Yunnan and especially Nujiang, where potential hydropower development plays a critical role, and which may turn out to shape development more comprehensively and quickly than tourism.”

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