Human Resources Development Goal for Western China

China has set the goal of developing human resources in the country's vast, under-developed western region, and vowed to create better working and living conditions for professionals.

Zhang Xuezhong, vice minister of Personnel, said Wednesday thatChina plans to build an army of skilled professionals by 2005 for the implementation of the country's western development strategy.

The total number of personnel in western China will be increased from the current 11 million to 15 million by 2005, whilethe number of professionals will reach 10 million, up from 7.6 million at present, said the vice minister.

The ratio of top and medium-level professionals and the national total will be increased gradually, so as to meet the demands of local social and economic development, he added.

Zhang said preferential treatment as well as other measures will be formulated and offered to train professionals in the western region and to absorb professionals from coastal areas.

"China will attract much-needed professionals (from other partsof the country) for key major development tasks and construction projects in the western areas," said the vice minister.

In the meantime, Zhang said, professionals at local government institutions in the region will be encouraged to work for enterprises and rural areas through running or starting up business or company agencies.

China will turn major cities in the area where universities andprofessionals cluster, including Chongqing, Xi'an, Chengdu and Lanzhou, into human resources development centers for western development.

The Ministry of Personnel will prioritize western areas when considering the establishment of new post-doctorate research or working stations, and industrial parks for professionals returned from overseas study.

Financial incentives will be offered to professionals from eastern areas to work in the west, and subsidies will be granted to professionals working in remote and poor areas, said the vice minister.

China will also raise the pay for government departments and institutions in western areas to equal or exceed the national average, he added.

China's western development strategy was launched this year to promote economic and social development and narrow the gap betweenthe western and eastern areas.

The western areas include the provinces of Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan, and the autonomous regions of Ningxia Hui, Xinjiang Uygur, Tibet, Guangxi Zhuang and Inner Mongolia, and the Chongqing Municipality.

(eastday.com 12/21/2000)

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