Henan is China’s third most populous province, with Zhengzhou as the modern industrial capital concealing a rich history watered by the great Yellow River. Zhengzhou is inevitably springing from a position atop China’s two main rail routes. We visited the old city centre marked by the old train station and the now dwarfed Erqi pagoda, a conjoined nine story tower built to commemorate those killed in a 1923 Communist led rail strike.
In contrast, the new contemporary area of East Zhengzhou hosts the tallest buildings in the city along side the booming property developments. More importantly it’s connected to the rest of the country by the new High speed rail way with the new Zhengzhou East Station, claiming its name as the transport hub.
Zhengzhou is also the head quarters of the Yellow River Conservancy Commission in charge of the entire Yellow River operation. We visited the Information Centre and the Water Regulation Centre, and had the chance to interview the Director of the Digital Yellow River, Huaizhong Kou. Covering topics such as the various water operations, the collection of data, the use and control of the river from the collected data. Data collection is vital to the operation and longevity of the Yellow River to ensure the conservation and continuous use of the river, through regulating the use of water to prevent overuse and drying out as well as maintaining the quality through measuring pollutants. The contemporary digital Yellow River is driven by big data to combat the previous exploitation of China’s mother river.