Chinese President Jiang Zemin said in Beijing Friday that the development of the western areas is a key strategy in realizing China's development and modernization goal.
He made the remarks at a meeting held by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to consult non-Communist parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and non-party figures on the Western Development Strategy.
President Jiang expressed his appreciation of the enthusiasm from the above-mentioned organizations and figures towards the strategy and their policy suggestions.
He noted that implementation of the strategy has headed off to a good start, with the State Council's preliminary policy frames, the enthusiasm of the cadres and masses in the west and the participation of non-Communist party figures.
Jiang stressed the importance of the principle of seeking truth from facts in developing the west, adding that there must be good planning and prioritizing in choosing projects.
As a reminder, the president said that developing the west will take generations of strenuous efforts, so any short-term behavior must be avoided.
Jiang expressed the confidence that the non-Communist parties, ACFIC and independent figures can make great contributions to the Western Development Strategy, as they boast rich human, material and intellectual resources.
Senior Chinese leaders Zhu Rongji, Li Ruihuan, Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao and Zeng Qinghong were present at the meeting.