Input to Western Regions Growing

The country will invest 32.6 billion yuan (US$3.97 billion) into the infrastructural construction in the country's western areas by the end of this year, according to a senior official of the State Development Planning Commission.

The central government's increased investment will lay a solid foundation for the implementation of the western development strategy, said Zeng Peiyan, minister of the commission, on Saturday.

Addressing the 18th Session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), Zeng said by the end of this year, more than 1,159 kilometres of high-voltage electric wire will have been erected and 249 kilometres of expressway built in the western provinces and autonomous regions. Moreover, the area will have a further capacity to extract 3.08 million tons of crude oil.

The project to siphon natural gas from Tarim Basin of Xinjiang Autonomous Region and transport it to Shanghai is in the preparatory stages, as is the plan to transmit electricity from the west to the east and the railway project linking Tibet to other parts of the country.

With a total investment of 2.4 billion yuan (US$300 million), China has chosen 19 projects as models to develop hi-tech industries in the west for the benefit of such things as environmental protection, according to Zeng.

The country has already poured more than 600 million yuan (US$72 million) into higher education in the west since early this year. The investment went into developing the infrastructure of 85 universities in the region.

Zeng also indicated that the development of the rural economy and agriculture would be prioritized.

At the same meeting, Wang Shucheng, minister of water resources, reported on the progress being made in the conservation of major rivers and lakes.

He said that remarkable achievements had been made as regards the conservation of water resources as well as anti-flood projects on major rivers across the country.

The Yellow River did not dry out at any point during the first 10 months of this year, according to Wang.

He also said that there were still problems to do with water quality, water shortages and the deterioration of the environment.

Calling on the public to give these problems more attention, Wang proposed a series of programmes, such as increased investment and diverting water from the south to the north.

(China Daily 10/30/2000)

In This Series

Railways Development in West Speeding Up

New Policies to Fuel Development of West China

Western Forum to Open

Moves to Protect Environment in West

Western Development Key to China's Development Strategy



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