Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji Friday called for earnest efforts to improve the living standards of ethnic minorities and speed up economic growth in where they live.
At a meeting with participants in an on-going national meeting on ethnic minorities, Zhu said China had developed a correct way of solving the problems of ethnic minorities and had made great progress in this respect.
In the areas where ethnic minorities live in compact communities, rapid economic growth had been witnessed and the people's living standards improved remarkably, contributing to theunity of all nationalities and social stability there, the premiersaid.
However, the ethnic minority people, mainly in central and western China, still did not live a comfortable life because of historical reasons. Thus, greater efforts should be made to boost the strategic development of the western part of the country, he added.
To this end, effort should be concentrated on infrastructure construction, environmental protection and development of resources in these regions.
In particular, Zhu said, more money should be put in developingroads and telecommunications, radio and television facilities for a coordinated growth of eastern and western China.
(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2002)