Targeted approach to eradicate extreme hardship reaps rich rewards
The snowcapped Gaoligong mountain range kept the Dulong valley and its inhabitants - the Dulong people - isolated from the outside world for years.
For the better part of the 20th century, thousands of ethnic Dulong led a slash-and-burn lifestyle on the eastern rim of the Himalayas.
The economic boom elsewhere in China had only trickled into Dulongjiang town in Yunnan province, due to shortages of physical or internet connections.
Snowfalls could block the makeshift mountain pass for months, cutting off the only traffic route to the county seat, which some 7,000 Dulong people rely on for medical services, shopping and schooling.
Traveling in the valley often involved using pulley bridges for cross-river trips and ladders attached to cliff faces to reach hamlets at higher altitudes.
Ten years ago, electricity was a luxury, along with television and other forms of entertainment.
But all this has changed for the once-impoverished community, thanks to the central government's renewed push in 2012 to curb extreme poverty in the country's remotest regions.