Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a priority area in the development program for west China, will make greater contributions to maintaining national energy security and social stability, according to the regional chairman, Ismail Tiliwaldi, on Tuesday.
Tiliwaldi and his delegation are attending the ongoing Fourth Plenary Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) that began on March 5 in Beijing.
According to statistics, Xinjiang achieved rapid growth in gross domestic product (GDP), fixed-asset investment, fiscal revenue, trade volume and residents' income last year.
Table: Basic Figures of Xinjiang in 2005
||Growth Rate (%)|
|Net income of residents
|Average income of farmers and herdsmen
"The region's oil, natural gas and coal deposits account for 30 percent, 30 percent and 40 percent respectively of the country's total," Tiliwaldi said.
Statistics show that annual oil output in Xinjiang has surpassed 20 million tons, ranking the third among all the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and meeting one-tenth of the country's demand.
"What's more, the China-Kazakhstan oil pipeline (that runs from Atasu to the Alataw Pass) that was completed last December makes it possible for China to utilize more resources from Central Asian countries," Tiliwaldi said.
As a complementary project, "an oil refinery factory with a capacity of 10 million tons is under construction in Dushanzi, and will put into production in 2007."
Further, the completion of the West-East Gas Project in 2005 means that natural gas obtained in Xinjiang now can be directly transported to Shanghai and other eastern coastal areas.
"The development of coal resources in Xinjiang is comparatively behind in terms of exploitation, and needs a further boost. We will try to implement the West-East Electricity Transmission Program as soon as possible to supply coal-fired electricity to power-strained eastern regions.
"Xinjiang aims to establish the country's biggest oil and natural gas base and build a great land passage of energy."
Tiliwaldi also pointed out that Xinjiang has developed an environment conducive to attracting foreign and domestic investment.
In 2005, Xinjiang received 350,000 foreign and 14.65 million domestic tourists. In addition, the region employed over 200 skilled foreigners. It is also becoming increasingly popular with foreign students.
"These encouraging figures show that Xinjiang provides a good social as well as business environment."
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Tang Fuchun, March 9, 2006)