Top official Zhou Yongkang on Tuesday urged local authorities to further boost the economy in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, gateway to southeast Asia.
Guangxi should strive to be the first among western China's provinces and autonomous regions to build an all-round, well-off society, Zhou said.
His comments came nine days before the 50th anniversary of the region.
Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said the region had achieved dramatic economic and social progress in the past five decades.
He attributed the achievements to the joint efforts of the CPC central committee, the central government and people of all ethnic groups in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Zhou urged Guangxi to take advantage of China's drive to develop the western regions, as well as the development of the Beibuwan Economic Zone and the China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone, to build the region into a regional commodity, manufacturing, trade and information base.
He urged the region to further open up to the world and take active measures against the global financial crisis.
Local authorities must strive to promote equality and unity among all ethnic groups in the region and attach more importance to work relating to agriculture, rural areas and farmers, Zhou said.
He called for a "warm, but thrifty and pragmatic" celebration of the region's 50th anniversary.