China to Inject 130bn yuan for West Development in 2003

China will put in 130 billion yuan to start 14 new projects in the western regions during the year 2003, as is known from the office of the leading group for western region development of the State Council.

It is estimated that by the end of the year there would be 50 newly started key projects under construction in western region, with a total investment over 700 billion yuan.

Since the nation launched its western development campaign, a batch of important projects have been kicked off, including the Qinghai-Tibet railway, West-East Gas Pipeline, west-east electricity transmission, and a series of water conservancy projects.

From 2000 to 2002 the state kicked off 36 key projects in the west with a total investment over 600 billion yuan, and this year's new projects touch upon water facilities, railway, express way, pipeline, hydraulic power generation, energy, municipal works and other infrastructure facilities.

Two railways will be built, the first, from Wanzhou in Chongqing municipality to Yichang in central China's Hubei Province, and the second, from Suining in west China's Sichuan Province to Chongqing. City infrastructure construction in Tibet and in Xinjiang Autonomous Region is also an important component.

Some of the funds will be used to convert 7.1 million ha of farm land into woodland and to convert 6.7 million ha of over-grazed land into grassland in the western region.

The investment will also help to ensure the supply of potable water for eight million people in western rural areas. Energy supply will also be enhanced in rural areas of western China.

By PD Online Staff Li Heng

People's Daily Online ---