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|One trillion yuan spent on western infrastructure
BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- A total of one trillion
yuan (125 billion U.S. dollars) has been spent building infrastructure in
western China in the past six years, a senior economic official has said.
Wang Jinxiang, deputy director of the National
Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told a special conference on western
development held Tuesday by the National Committee of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) that a national strategy to develop
the country's western region had led to great progress.
Wang, who is also deputy head of the Leading Group
Office under the State Council for the Development of the Western Regions, said
China's western regions have reported an annual average economic growth rate of
10.6 percent for six years in a row.
The combined GDP of western regions reached 3.33
trillion yuan last year, compared with 1.66 trillion yuan in 2000, when the
central government launched the strategy to help its relatively backward west
catch up with the more prosperous east, said Wang.
According to Wang, in the period 2001-2005, net
income grew on average 10 percent for urban residents in the west and 6.8
percentfor rural residents.
The progress was spurred by increased financial
support from central government, said Wang. By the end of 2005, China had
launched more than 70 key infrastructure projects in the west, covering fields
such as transport, hydropower plants, energy and telecommunications.
NDRC statistics show China has completed 226,000
kilometers of highway and over 4,000 kilometers of railway in the west regions
in the past five years.
In addition, the central government has invested more
than 122 billion yuan on western environmental protection in the past six years,
said Wang. Enditem