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Introduction to the Implementation of the Great Western Development Strategy in China

2000-11-02author:Ning Jizhesource:

  The implementation of the development strategy in the west and acceleration of t he development in the middle and west part is the important component of moderni zation strategy in China. This is an important decision by the government and is of important significant in face of the new century. It has not only warmly suppo rted by the people of the whole country and attracted wide attention of the world. 

  I. Significance and Condition of Implementing Development Strategy in the West

  The implementation of the development strategy in the west is not only of import ant economic significance, but of important political significance. This is the im portant measure for expanding the domestic demands, developing domestic market an d keeping the rapid and healthy sustaining development of the national economy. It 's the urgent need to conduct strategic adjustment of the regional economic stru cture and promote the economic growth quality and level in the entire country, as well as the necessary requirement of gradually eliminating the development dist ances of the regions and promote the coordinated development of the regional eco nomy. It is the strong guarantee to promote the unity of the people and maintain the safety and social stability in the frontier areas. 

  With the reform and opening up for 20 years, the comprehensive national capacity of China has significantly increased, with abundant supply of commodities, the lif e of the people being in good condition, the socialist market economic system bei ng preliminarily established. China has the capacity to enhance the support to th e development in the middle and west parts. There are mature opportunities and ba sic conditions to implement development strategy in the west with enough basic c onditions. 

  There is a vast territory and rich natural resources in the west of China, the la bour cost being rather low with good market potentiality. The territory of the te n provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities governed directly under the ce ntral government in south west and north west (Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang) accounted for 57% of the whole country, the population accounted for 23% of that of the whole country, and the G DP accounted for about 14%. If including Inner Mongolia and Guangxi Autonomous Re gion, the territory hits 6. 85 million km2, accounting for 71. 4% of that of the w hole country;GDP is 1540 billion yuan, accounting for 17. 5% of that of the whole country. The advantageous conditions in the west are as follows:

  - The resources are rather rich. As to the energy mineral resources, the wat e r energy resources in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Yellow River, Lancan g River, Nu river and Zhu River, the natural gas and petroleum resources in Talimu , Chaidamu, Shanxi-Gansu-Ningxia and Chuanyu Basins, the coal resources in Shaanxi , Inner mongolia, Ningxia and Xinjiang, as well as the noon-ferrous metal resources of rare earths, potassium and phosphor, lead, zinc, nickel and aluminum could provi de support of power and raw materials for the development of the could provide s upport of power and raw materials for the development of the whole country. Among st the 160 major mineral resources found in China, there are large amount of stor a ge in the south west and north west areas, among which the coal storage accounts for 38. 6% of that in the whole country, petrol 41% and water energy resources 82. 3%. As to the territory resources, the territory in the west is fairly large and t here are lots of land not utilized, which could provide wide space for national e conomy and further development of the society. As to the tourism resources, there are unique advantages in the natural geographic scenery, social and people's live s and human culture and historic heritages. 

  - The potentiality of the markets is quite large. The population is over 30 0million, with low per capita income and large market potentiality. The per capita income in some central cities with sound economic basis such as Chongqing, Xi'an , Chengdu and the surrounding areas and the potential markets have turned into re al market. 

  - The labour cost is rather low. There are 200 million cheap labour who cou ld go to work in other places, especially in the coastal zones and could be utili zed in the original places to develop labour concentrated industries.  - There are certain basis for industry and technology development. The old industrial bases, national defense industrial enterprises and science and researc h institutes constructed for long time, especially during the military constructi on period are the places with military high technologies and human resources, whi ch is beneficial for developing high new technologies. 

  - The conditions of connecting Europe and Asia are very good. The west regi on is connected with a dozen of neighbouring countries and serves as the importa nt channel form the east and middle areas to mid Asia, west Asia, southeast Asia a s well as Mongolia and Russia. There are lots of potentialities to develop open e conomy. 

  Ⅱ. Targets and Key Work of Implementing Development Strategy in West

  Development in the west is a tough historical task. We should have a sense of urg ency as well as preparation for making long-term efforts. We should be based on t he actual situation, make active efforts, depend on the actual ability, conduct ove rall planning and scientific researches, focus on key work and put into implement ation by steps. We will try to spend five to ten years to make significant progre ss in the construction of infrastructure and ecological environmental constructi on in the west and make a good beginning for the development in the west. With th e efforts for several generations and by mid 21 century when the modernization i s basically achieved in the whole country, we will establish a new west part wit h prosperous economy, advanced society, stable lives, united people and beautiful s cenery. 

  For the time being and in the future, infrastructure construction should be the b asis for the development strategy in the west. The fundamental task is to enhance ecological environmental protection and construction. The key points are to rest ructure the industries. Great efforts will be devoted to develop science and tech nology education and educate people so as to protect the development. The reform and opening up should be the drives for the development. The fundamental purpose of the development is to promote the lives of the people. 

  According to the preliminary programmes, some areas with sound economic basis, adv anced locations, large population and along the main transportation lines and the urban hubs will be selected as key regions for the development in the west. Great efforts will be devoted to develop some central cities so as to promote the de velopment of the surrounding cities and promote the development in the west by s teps and by focusing on the key areas. 

  Ⅰ)Infrastructure Construction

  We should meet the requirements of economic development and the strategic demand ;pay attention to economic benefits and social benefits;make leading development ;combine with the resource advantages, economy with characteristics and developme nt of urban and rural markets;conduct overall planning and scientific research;r aise funds from multiple channels and enhance investment in multiple ways. 

  Transportation construction. Efforts will be devoted to the highways and develop railways, civil aviation, pipelines and water carriage on full scale. The construct ion of the key national highways will be speed up and highway projects will be c arried out in rural areas so as to improve the strength of the regional road net works in the west. The construction of the key railways from east to the west wil l be enhanced and researches will conducted on some key railway projects. The reg ional hub airports will be further improved and a batch of sub-branch airports w ill be constructed. 

  Water resources construction. Water resources saving, protection and reasonable de velopment and utilization will be emphasized. The construction of large and mediu m sized water resource works will be speed up. Efforts will be devoted to emphasi ze on the construction of some key water resource works. Projects of flood contro l and urban water supply will be enhanced. The pre-preparation of trans-regional water allocation will be conducted in a careful way. 

  Energy construction. Key efforts will be devoted to the projects of "transmittin g the natural gas from the west to the east" and "transmitting the electricity from the west to the east". Bases of transmitting petroleum and natural gas will be set up gradually in Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia, Talimu, Chaidamu and Chuanyu area w ill be set up and the natural gas transmission pipelines of Talimu, Xinjiang-Shan ghai will be constructed. The development of trans-regional electricity networks and hydro-power will be enhanced. Solar energy, wind energy and terrestrial heat w ill be developed according to the situation in local areas. 

  Tele-communications construction. Based on the key optical fibre networks, the key and sub-tele-communications will be speed up in the west;the comprehensive cove rage of broadcast and TV population will be promoted;the construction of compute r information network and postal networks will be enhanced. 

  Ⅱ)Ecological Environmental Protection and Construction

  Measures should be adjusted to the local conditions and guidance should be given by categories. The ecological benefits, economic benefits and social benefits sho uld be combined together. Key efforts should be devoted to environmental protecti on and ecological construction. Key attention should be paid to the protection of natural forests, rehabilitation with forests and grasslands and other effective ecological engineering projects. 

  We should stop the logging and protect the natural forests in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the middle and middle reaches of the Yellow River. As to the other existing forests, bush lands and young forest lands, measures of closin g the hills, setting up check points and individual contracting will be taken so as to conduct full-scale effective protection. 

  We will carry out the policy of "rehabilitation of forests and grasslands, closi ng hills for forest growth, providing grain as subsidies and individual contracti ng". Thirteen provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities governed directly by central government)in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River will be selected to rehabilitate the forests a nd grasslands and arrange artificial forest and grasslands on the waste hills an d lands suitable for forests as well as conducting the construction of seed nurs ery bases. Based on the pilot work, the experiences will be disseminated gradually . 

  Construction and comprehensive treatment of the key ecological environment of th e sand storm zones and grasslands in the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River and Yellow River and the construction of sand prevention and treatment, th ree-north shelter-belt and treatment of soil erosion and natural reserves will b e speed up. 

  Ⅲ)Industrial Restructuring and Prioritization

  We should be based on the actual situation, face the markets in and abroad, develo p economy of unique characteristics, cultivate advantageous industries, seek econo mic benefits, develop high level projects and avoid duplicating construction. 

  The basis of agriculture will be enhanced. Active efforts will be made to adj ust the agriculture and rural economic structure. We will develop agriculture of special characteristics such as cotton, fruits and tropical crops, produce agricul ture products of high yields, good quality and suitable for sale, promote the developm ent of water-saving agriculture, arid crop and eco-farming, green agriculture. The d e velopment of husbandry will be developed. The industrialized operation of agricul ture will be promoted. Active measures will be taken to develop the storage, proce ss, transition and value-added of the agriculture products. 

  We will develop advantageous resources and promote the transition of resources s o as to increase the value of resources. Active efforts will be made to develop an d utilize the natural gas resources in the west in a comprehensive way, develop t he salt lake, potassium fertilizer, phosphor fertilizer, aluminum, lead, zinc, nickel and rare earths. Food industry using agriculture by-products as raw materials wil l be developed rapidly. 

  We will pay attention to the advantages of the enterprises and renovate the trad itional industries. In the areas with suitable conditions, active efforts will be made to develop the machinery industry and high new technology industry. Developm ent of tourism resources and infrastructure construction will be enhanced by foc using on the tourist routes along the Yangtze River, Silk Road in north west and Yunnan-Guizhou-Sichuan. We will devote great efforts to develop service industrie s based on the actual situation in various places. 

  Ⅳ)TO Develop Science and Technology Education and Social Causes

  In connection with the demand of the development in the west, we will disseminate a batch of advanced suitable technology, develop a batch of key technologies, and develop a batch of high new technologies, for example, to promote and develop inf rastructure construction, ecological environmental protection construction, agricu l ture water saving and promoting efficiency, energy cleaner production, comprehensi ve resource utilization and transit of military technologies to civil product te chnologies. 

  We will focus on basic education and speed up the dissemination of nine compulso ry education, as well as devoting efforts to develop professional education of va rious forms and expand the enrollment of the universities in the west. We will en hance culture facility construction, and improve the infrastructure and service conditions of the grass-root public medical institutions, improve the basic livin g conditions such as the drinking water of the farmers and promote the culture ac tivities of the public and the population qualification. 

  Ⅲ. National Policy and Measures of Supporting Development in the West

  We should make full use of the market resources in implementing the strategy of the development in the west. In the meantime, the government will implement polici es with key support to the development in the west and focus on creating good po licy environment beneficial for the development in the west. The preferential pol icy measures supporting the development in the west by the government will soon be published. The major content is as follows:

  - Policies of increasing the financial input. The input of construction fun ds will be enhanced. Some projects will be arranged in the western areas and the financial transit and payment will be enhanced. The support of financial and cred its will be enhanced

  - Policies to improve investment environment. Strong efforts should be made to improve the environment for investment. Favorable taxation policies, land and mineral resources policies should be adopted. Prices and relevant fees should pla y lever's role for regulation purposes. 

  - Policies to promote the opening to outside and domestic market. The scope of foreign investment should be extended. Channels for utilizing foreign investm ent should also be extended. Great efforts should be devoted to the development o f f oreign economic trade. Regional coordination and mutual support within the same s ectors should be promoted. 

  - Policies to attract talents and develop science, technology and education . Relevant policies should be formulated to help the western regions to attract a nd retain and talents and to encourage them to do pioneering work. Budget for sc ientific and technological development should be increased for the western regio ns, and favorable polices should be adopted for the western regions in this regar d. National support should be strengthened for compulsory education and higher ed ucation in the western regions. Support should also increased for the cultural an d medical development of the western development.

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