胡焕庸线,即黑河-腾冲线,最初由国立中央大学地理系主任胡焕庸先生于1935年提出。这条横跨中国的假想线,有着巨大的经济、环境和政治意义。据考,约在1240年代,随着中国西北部气候突变,不复汉唐时的温暖湿润,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,而线的西北侧分布着大部分的少数民族。这让彼时的胡焕庸发出感叹:“其多寡之悬殊,有如此者。”

胡线被提出至今已近百年,两侧的巨大差异仍未动摇。除了人口差异,地理环境、农业经济、社会形态等各种错层关联,更加值得关注。中央政府2014年指出,中西部地区的城镇化应成为政府工作的重要议程,使中西部地区的居民从现代化中受益。胡线东西两侧的发展不均,同样是脱贫攻坚中消除区域性整体贫困的重要目标。

地处不同降水、地质结构交界处,胡线上地震、沙尘暴频发,但同时水电矿产等自然资源也相对比较丰富。在全国划定的69个资源枯竭型城市中21个分布在东北,西南分布的大型水电设施数量也较其它地方更为密集。历史上,胡焕庸线是中央集权的王朝直接影响力与控制力的边界,也是汉族和少数民族文明发生密集冲突与融合之地。

这条千年间切割了荒凉繁华的分界线,在现代国家的技术发展中会出现怎样的松动?这一进程,又会将我们带向何处?伴随着新的疑问与讨论,本项目于2015-2017年间展开,在五千五百公里沿胡焕庸线的公路旅行中暂时结束。

—2017

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 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.

—2017