Economic progress called for in former revolutionary base areas

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China's top political advisor Sunday called for the promotion of economic development in the country's former revolutionary base areas in remembrance of their "great contribution to the success of the Chinese revolution and the founding of the New China."

Jia Qinglin made the remarks at a conference here marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China Society for Promoting Construction in Former Revolutionary Base Areas.

"The former revolutionary base areas were cradles of the Chinese revolution," said Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's political advisory body.

"We must not forget these regions and their people," he said.

The areas, set up by the Communist Party of China during the Agrarian Revolutionary War (1927-1937) and the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945), are spread over almost 1,400 counties and cities in 28 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

Jia said over past decades, the regions had greatly changed, but some were still underdeveloped.

Developing former revolutionary base areas has been included in the Party's agenda, along with the country's ethnic minority, border and poverty-stricken regions.

Jia said the public should be mobilized to participate in the construction of these regions and "the revolutionary spirit should be carried on."

The China Society for Promoting Construction in Former Revolutionary Base Areas, mostly composed of retired cadres, generals and experts, was initiated by old revolutionaries in 1990. It is dedicated to serving for people living in these areas.

By the end of 2009, the society had raised nearly 38 billion yuan (5.59 billion U.S. dollars), introduced nearly 100,000 economic projects and helped build 53,000 km of roads and 75,000 small hydroelectric facilities for these areas, according to the society's figures.

It also built and improved 15,000 schools, trained more than 2.4 million officials and agro-technical personnel and provided almost 1.9 million jobs in these areas.

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