China has developed a new five-year program for western
development, aiming to realize sound and fast economic growth in
The 11th Five-Year Program for 2006-2010 period was approved by the executive
meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday.
According to the program, new breakthroughs are expected to be
made in infrastructure construction and ecological protection in
the five-year period. That includes improvements to the
transportation network and water facilities.
China launched the western development strategy in 2000 to boost
economic growth in the impoverished region. The government adopted
policies to encourage investors to invest in the west. The lack of
infrastructure has become a major barrier to investment.
The program also emphasizes rural development of the west to
raise income of farmers and herders, who account for a majority of
the population in the region.
According to the program, apart from increasing government
spending in the west, China will make more efforts to further open
up the western region to foreign investors and develop trade with
The meeting stressed that western areas should speed up their
reforms to enhance the quality of economic development under new
mechanisms. It encouraged eastern industries to move to the
(Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2006)