In five to ten years China will make great breakthroughs in transport development of western region and larger related input will be made there compared with eastern and central regions, Vice-Minister of Communications Hu Xijie told a press conference Thursday morning.
Nearly 300 million people inhabit in China’s western region, mostly scattered in remote, poor rural and mountainous areas with difficult access. Chinese government will accelerate the infrastructure construction to propel local economy. It is expected that in five to ten years, towns and villages in western China will be linked with outside world by roads and highways.
Last year, central government formulated a series of favorable policies to promote western transport construction. According to Zhang Chunxian, vice minister of communications also present at the conference, the ministry will increase its input to 49.3 billion yuan in west China this year, accounting for 52 percent of its total input in the country. More projects will be planned and launched there and the country will allocate more treasury bonds for these projects. Among the total 15.8 billion yuan of treasury bonds to be issued in 2001, 9.8 billion yuan, or 62 percent of the total, will be channeled to the west.
According to the ministry, 70 percent of the total state funds for projects linking villages with highways will be used in the west. To guarantee the sustained and long-term development of the western regions, one billion yuan will be used in the scientific and technological research to build highways with high technological content.
Ministers at the conference also summarized the communications achievements made in the 9th Five-Year Plan (1996-2000) period and fold blueprints including the objectives and focuses for the next five-year plan.
(CIIC by Guo Xiaohong 03/29/2001)