Urumqi, April 4 -- Why is China's youngest city named after poplars?

Written by Shi Yujiang

Not long ago, the announcement of Xinjiang's approval of the establishment of county-level Baiyang City was officially released, which means that the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps has 12 cities.

The 12 cities of the Xinjiang Corps are Shihezi City of the Eighth Division, Wujiaqu City of the Sixth Division, Aral City of the First Division, Beitun City of the <>th Division, Tumshuk City of the Third Division, Tiemenguan City of the Second Division, Shuanghe City of the Fifth Division, Kokdala City of the Fourth Division, Kunyu City of the <>th Division, Huyanghe City of the Seventh Division, Xinxing City of the <>th Division, and Huyang City of the Ninth Division (according to the time of its establishment).

China is a vast country with more than 600 cities, and cities with characteristics can be known to the public, either with a long history, beautiful scenery, or carrying the characteristics of the hope of an era. The names of the 12 cities of the Xinjiang Corps have their own characteristics and connotations, so why is the newly established Baiyang City named after the Poplar tree, which is the most widely planted in the XPCC and even in Xinjiang?

The Xinjiang Corps is the only border port city

To answer this question, we must first understand why the new city was created in the Ninth Division.

At present, among the 14 divisions of the Xinjiang Corps, only the 11th and 12th divisions have not yet completed the XPCC's unique management mode of "division and city integration." The establishment of Baiyang City in the Ninth Division is conducive to driving regional economic and social development, improving urban functions, and forming a gathering place for regional modern civilization.

Recently, Xinjiang Bhaktu Port has ushered in a peak of freight. Photo by Martin

The Bhaktu port on the west side of Baiyang City is the closest port on the land border between China and Kazakhstan, with a history of more than 200 years. Ancient ports, sacred national gates, "Boundary Monument No. 158" and other landscapes attract more and more Chinese and foreign tourists. More importantly, this is the only way to pass through the Northern Silk Road, guarding the northwest gate of Xinjiang; It has the geographical advantage of connecting east to west, and its strategic location is unique and important.

The newly established main urban area of Baiyang City is located in the regimental headquarters of the 163rd Regiment of the Ninth Division (the natural town is called Akchok Town), and the municipal government station is located in the 163rd Regiment headquarters office building, only 7 kilometers away from Tacheng, the center of the Tayang Basin, with a total area of more than 4900,<> square kilometers.

The headquarters of the 163rd Regiment is located between the Bhaktu port and Tacheng, which is an important border artery and has become the only border port city of the Xinjiang Corps. The <>th Division Kekedala City, the <>th Division Beitun City, and the <>th Division Shuanghe City Center, which are closer to the border, are still some distance from the border line.

There is a post of the same name and military songs

"A small poplar grows next to the outpost..." The famous military song "Little Poplar" was once familiar to the Chinese people, and I believe that there are still many people who can sing it today, and this song originated from the border post of the 161st Regiment of the Ninth Division - Little Poplar Outpost.

Speaking of Baiyang City, I believe that most people are very unfamiliar, but everyone has heard of the Little Poplar Outpost, and also heard the "Little Poplar" sung by military singers, this song is composed by Liang Shangquan, composed by Shixin, Yan Weiwen, Yu Junjian, Gong Yue and many other people, witnessing the style and spirit of an era.

The Little Poplar Outpost is a local cultural calling card. Photo by Sun Lina

The Little Poplar Outpost was formerly known as the Tasti Outpost. In the early 20s of the 80th century, Chen Fusen, a soldier at the outpost, returned to his home in Ili to visit relatives, and his mother asked him to bring 10 poplar saplings to plant in the outpost, and told him to take root like poplar trees and guard the border well. And at that time, the outpost fighters had to pick up water on the Burgan River, a kilometer away, and although the fighters watered it with the saved water every day, the little poplars withered one after another, and only one stubbornly survived, accompanied by the border guards.

In 1990, the creative team of the General Political Song and Dance Troupe sent people to Xinjiang to collect style, moved by the deeds of Little Poplar, and composed the song "Little Poplar", and at the Spring Festival Gala that year, singer Yan Weiwen "sang" it to the north and south of the motherland, inspiring the soldiers on the border, and the Tasti outpost was renamed the "Little Poplar" outpost.

Later, the Little Poplar outpost was relocated, and the original outpost was arranged as an exhibition hall, which was free and open to tourists as a patriotic education base. The exhibition hall uses words, pictures, videos, objects, sculptures and other forms to introduce the background of the establishment of the outpost, the history of development, and the heroic deeds of the soldiers guarding the border. As a cultural business card of the city, it can also raise the popularity of the newly established city.

The name is catchy and easy to remember, and the meaning is unique

Geographical names are an integral part of history and culture, and any place name has its historical and derivative connotations. Looking at the city names of the cities of the Xinjiang Corps, they all have the characteristics of the XPCC. For example, Tiemenguan City (named after the pass of the last pass of the 26 ancient Chinese passes), Beitun City (China's northernmost reclamation city), and Xinxing City ("Red Star of the New Era", which is the continuation and inheritance of the "Red Star Complex"), embodies the meaning of reclamation and carrying forward the "Corps Spirit".

In the Xinjiang Corps and even the whole of Xinjiang, poplar cultivation not only has a long history, but also is the most extensive. Especially on both sides of the road and the shelter forest in the desert area, the poplar trees are tall and tall, about 20 meters tall, and the gray-white trunks are straight into the sky, which can be described as "single trees like columns, arranged into walls", like rows of tall and mighty warriors to protect against wind and sand, fix sand and fence, and guard the city, countryside and countryside.

The Xinjiang Corps named the city Baiyang City, which is not only catchy and easy to remember, but also has a unique meaning. Photo by Sun Lina

It is worth mentioning that the poplar tree is tenacious and can be seen everywhere in arid and barren land. The prose "Poplar Salute" is well-known to the Chinese people, because Mao Dun, a well-known literary artist in China, used poplar to express the spirit of hard work, positivity and perseverance.

As a node of the Silk Road in China, Baiyang City can be said to be one of the important links, and its location is very important, especially from the perspective of the development of national strategy.

Baiyang City is the only border port city of the Xinjiang Corps. Photo by Sun Lina

It can be seen that the Xinjiang Corps, which is responsible for the mission of reclamation and border reclamation, named this border port city Baiyang City, which is not only catchy and easy to remember, but also has a unique meaning.

From General Wang Zhen leading the army to pull the "first plough of military reclamation" and building the first city of the Xinjiang Corps on the deserted beach, Shihezi City, to Baiyang City, the youngest, the Xinjiang Corps has continued to develop new-type urbanization for more than 70 years, and new military reclamation cities have risen in the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang.

Baiyang City Commercial Street. Photo by Sun Lina

It is believed that in the near future, Baiyang, a port city with ecological livability, convenient transportation and superior trade conditions, will become another vibrant city in western China. (End)