Tracing perilous switchbacks of dense forests and icy tundra, the Tibetan plateau reveals pristine turquoise lakes, remote Buddhist monasteries and black tent settlements of nomadic drokpa shepherds, living just as they have for centuries past. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
Snaking along the polar periphery of China’s northernmost province and forming the geopolitical border that separates China from the austere expanse of Siberian Russia is Back Dragon River. Known in Chinese as Heilongjiang, the region is a winter wonderland of Russian-spired cities and Manchurian villages. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
What is in the summertime a searing sandscape and in the spring verdant grassland, in the winter becomes a heavenly-white kingdom traversed only by those as intrepidly few as the Mongols themselves. Indeed, the traditionally nomadic Inner Mongolian lifestyle reflects a People seasonally driven out of the region’s unforgiving climate. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
Beyond the dazzling affluence of Shenzhen, the fastest growing city in the world, and the notorious crowds and congestion of the capital city of Guangzhou, Guangdong province concedes to its antediluvian roots with a swath of minority villages, rural farmland and natural majesty that otherwise comprise the South China region. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
With more than twelve million Muslims in China, Xinjiang accounts for over half the national total. Xinjiang literally comes to a halt five times a day when the faithful rush to mosque for a congregational series of Mecca-facing prostrations and prayer. Half an hour later, the cities are again screaming with activity. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
A fusion of agricultural and industrial might, Jiangsu has long been one of China’s most powerful provinces. Jiangsu fell to the spoils of war in 1937 as the former capital of the Republic of China, but ever a righteous fist, the region has since rebounded as a powerhouse of prosperity. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
A direct result of the country’s 5,000-year history of geopolitical expansion and socioethnic assimilation, China has presently come to recognize 56 official Chinese nationalities within its boundaries. Nowhere else in the People’s Republic might one uncover the splendor of the country’s varied minority population than south of the clouds, Yunnan. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
Oft-overlooked Guizhou has long been forsaken by both urban planners and the tourism industry, leaving the rural province in the callused hands of its agrarian populace. In any of the four directions outside of the gleaming capital city of Guiyang, paved highways dissolve into dirt, skyscrapers vanish behind shanties and neon lights relent to the glow of wildflowers. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
Departing for Hainan’s lush central highlands, beachfront property dissolves into the fertile farms of the island’s reclusive minority population, the Li and the Miao. Driven from the coast by progress and development, their sticks-and-stone villages are a dramatic contrast to the white-sands and pastel skyline along the sea. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
Once dynastic China’s glorious finance center, the distinguished Shanxi Merchant has regressed into today’s dusty Shanxi Miner. Shanxi province in the northern interior is the country’s coal capital, the power behind the People, providing 70% of China’s energy and literally fuelling China’s economy. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
Over the centuries Shanghai has grown into the world’s busiest port and China’s largest city. Where Chinese emperors once lowered their heads in disgrace at Shanghai’s subjugation by westerners, today boast of the infinite foreign investment that has turned the city into China’s opulent banking and finance capital. Copyright Tom Carter, CHINA: Portrait of a People
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