Opening Western China Wider
to the Outside World

At the turn of the new century, while continuing to promote the opening up of the coastal regions, the Chinese government has begun to implement the strategy for the wide-ranging development of the western China. Western China includes Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, the Ningxia Hui, Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions, and Chongqing Municipality. Western China has an area of 5.4 million sq km, making up 56 percent of the country’s total land territory; and a population of 285 million, accounting for 23 percent. Western China is rich in mineral resources, and has advantages in energy (including hydraulic power), tourism and land resources. In the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping put forward the strategic concept for China’s modernization drive, featuring “two situations” (one situation is that the southeastern coastal areas will speed up their opening to the outside world, and the other is that China should concentrate its strength to speed up the development of its central and western tegions. In the past 21 years, since the adoption of the policies of reform and opening to the outside world, the development of the coastal regions, especially the development of traditional industries, has gradually become saturated, so the coastal areas need to look for new markets. The development of western China is now extremely urgent. The implementation of the strategy for the development of western China, opening it wider to the outside world, and encouraging domestic and foreign enterprises to participate in the development of infrastructure facilities and natural resources in the region will benefit China’s economic development in the 21st century. Hence the Chinese government is working out an overall plan for the development of the western region, and has formulated a series of preferential policies and measures for encouraging foreign business people to invest there. The Chinese government welcomes foreign investors to participate in the development of the country’s western part.

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Last updated: 2000-07-13.