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Ten Projects Benefit Western China

Guo Xiaohong

According to the State Development Planning Commission and the newly established Western Development Office under the State Council, China will launch 10 projects in the western regions this year, to remove the economic obstacles and pave the way for further development. Some projects have already been launched, including China!/s first overhead light railway, in Chongqing.

The construction funds for the 10 projects will come from government appropriation, treasury bonds, bank loans and investment by enterprises.

The 10 projects, mainly infrastructure ones, are as follows:

Construction of a railway has already been started to link Xi!/an in northwest China!/s Shaanxi Province and Nanjing in eastern China!/s Jiangsu Province. The 955-km Xi!/an-Hefei section, a part of the line, involves an investment of 23.23 billion yuan.

Some 18.23 billion yuan will be invested in the construction of the 640-km Chongqing-Huaihua Railway, to improve the western transportation network.

To tackle the transportation problems of poor counties and to build top-grade highways in the western region, the state will build 35,000-km of highways, 17,000 km of which will be in the west.

The construction of Xi!/an-Xianyang International Airport will be started this year, as part of an aviation transportation network in the western region. A total of 5 billion yuan will be invested in the west for the building or expansion of 20 airports, which will help narrow the gap between the east and the west in aviation, according to the State Planning Commission.

A light rail project has been launched to relieve transportation congestion in Chongqing. The first phase of the construction will be 13.5 km and cost 3.258 billion yuan.

A natural gas pipeline will be built from Sebei in the Qaidam Basin of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, through Xining in Qinghai Province, to Lanzhou in Gansu Province. The 953-km pipeline will have an annual transportation capacity of 2 billion cubic meter of natural gas.

Multi-purpose water conservancy projects will be carried out in Zipingpu, Sichuan Province, and Shapotou, in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The Zipingpu project, with 6.2 billion yuan of investment, is expected to provide 550 million cubic meters more water to Dujiangyan and Chengdu, and generate 3,400 million kwh of power each year. The Shapotou project, with an investment of 1.3 billion yuan, will improve the local area!/s ability to prevent floods by irrigating 76,600 hectare of land and generating 700 million kwh of electricity per year.

The country plans to turn 343,300 hectare of land into forests on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River this year. The project will organize villagers to plant 780,720 hectare of forest and grassland.

A project to develop potash fertilizer will be implemented in Yanhu, Qinghai, which has abundant potassium resources. The aim is to support agricultural production and boost Qinghai!/s development.

The state will give full support to efforts to improve the tertiary education system in the western regions.

Intense and orderly construction is underway in China!/s western regions. From January through April this year, the region saw a more rapid economic growth. Most areas show the same or even a higher economic development speed than the national average.

Guizhou, Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces, the Ningxia Hui and Tibet autonomous regions and Chongqing Municipality recorded a more than 10 percent increase rate in industrial output in the first quarter of this year.

While developing the central and western areas, China will concentrate on infrastructure construction, stress environmental protection, readjust the economic structures and develop pillar industries. Moreover, it will rely on scientific and technological strength to achieve common economic prosperity of the whole region.

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