胡焕庸线,即黑河-腾冲线,最早由胡焕庸先生在1935年提出。随着中国西北部气候突变,不复汉唐时的温暖湿润,约形成于1240年代,直至今日,胡焕庸线东南面43%的国土面积上,依旧居住着94%的人口,而线的西北侧居住着大部分的少数民族。这让胡焕庸彼时发出感叹:“其多寡之悬殊,有如此者。”

这条横跨中国的假想线,有着巨大的经济、环境和政治意义。从胡线被提出至今近百年过去,胡线两侧的巨大差异仍未动摇。除了胡线西侧人口稀少之外,两侧降雨量、人口、地理环境、农业经济、社会形态的各种错层关联,才是它背后的逻辑。早几年重新被舆论提及,直接原因是李克强总理的关注,据公开报道,他在城镇化框架中提出如何打破胡线的问题,即东西部发展不均,和上世纪末的西部大开发是一个方向的。

地处不同降水、地质结构交界处,胡线上地震、沙尘暴频发,但同时自然资源也相对比较丰富,比如矿产,全国划定的69个资源枯竭型城市中,东北占了21个;比如水利资源,胡线西南段分布的大型水电设施数量较其它地方更为密集。资源多了,人和外界的关系会更复杂。因为胡线两侧降雨量不同,基于游牧文明的少数民族则多数聚居在不适合发展农耕的西北侧,汉族则多数聚居在另一侧,历史上,胡焕庸线是中央集权的王朝直接影响力和控制力的边界线,也可以密集观察到汉族和少数民族文明的冲突与融合。

这条千年间切割了荒凉繁华的分界线,是否可能在现代国家的技术革命中发生松动?这一进程,又会将我们带向何处?带着对民族融合、资源博弈,思潮变迁等议题的关注,本项目于2016 - 2017年间展开,暂结于一场五千五百公里的全国公路旅行。

Hu Line, an imaginary line across China that has vast demographic, environmental, and political significance. Road trip from 2016 to 2017.

One Belt and One Road is a strategic line. Hu Line is different. The Heihe-Tengchong Line – Hu Line drawn by Chinese geographer Hu Huanyong in 1935 is a dividing line of the whole country, which divides the area of China into two parts, and marks the striking difference in the topographic features, climates, agriculture, ethnics, culture and the distribution of the country’s population. 94% of China’s residents live east of the Hu Line, concerning 43% of the country’s territory.

80 years past, the differences between these two parts have still relied on the Hu Line. In 2014, China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang said urbanization of the central and western areas is also necessary. Li said that China is a country with multiple ethnic groups and with a vast territory, and the government should consider how to address the situation, and promote coordinated regional development - so that residents of central and western areas would also be able to benefit from modernization.