Western China is quickly catching up with eastern China as the annual economic growth rates of western China have surpassed eastern China during the past three years, said officials with the National Development and Reform Commission on Monday.
The economic growth rates of central, western and northeast China in 2009 were 12.6 percent, 13.4 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively, higher than the 10.7 percent growth of eastern China, said Du Ying, deputy director of the commission at the economic work conference of the National Development and Reform Commissions at all levels.
"This shows that the gap widening pace among different regions has begun to slow down and we are moving towards the goal of balanced development among regions," said Du Ying.
"For a considerable span of time after the reform and opening up, we developed coastal regions first, and while it drives our economy forwards, the regional gap is more and more pronounced," said Du.
Central, western and northeast China are now catching up in the new century thanks to the development policies targeted at the regions, said Du.
The conference was held on Monday in Kunming, capital city of southwest China's Yunan Province.