China’s Unseen Poverty

Location: Village at the top of the cliff at Daliang Mountain, Sichuan. Filmed in August 2019.

A group of Yi people live in a village at the edge of Liangshan, Sichuan. Situated at the top of a cliff, the village is called A Tu Lie Village. Villagers have to climb down to sell their produce at the markets. Children also have to climb down to attend boarding school. It is a long and dangerous climb on a steel rod ladder. It was even more dangerous in the past before the construction of the ladder.

The Chinese government had reportedly invested 630 million yuan in poverty alleviation funds for the village at the top of the cliff, but not much had changed. Villagers were provided accommodations at the foot of the cliff, but there was no farmland. They continued to eke out a living at the top of the cliff. Only school children stayed in the houses provided.