Experts: Central work conference to boost long-term stability in Xinjiang

15:46, May 21, 2010      

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During the central work conference on Xinjiang's development, the central government put forward Xinjiang’s development goals and tasks over the next five to 10 years. Wei Houkai, director of the Research Center for the Development of Western Regions under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said on May 20 that it is not hard for Xinjiang to meet the goals thanks to policy support from the central government and construction project assistance from corresponding provinces and municipalities across the country.

Jiang Zhaoyong, a scholar specializing in the study of Xinjiang, said the conference has provided Xinjiang’s development with very important opportunities and is significant to promote Xinjiang’s leap forward in development and its long-term stability.

Wei believes that promoting Xinjiang’s economic development, especially through construction project assistance, can also advance the exchanges and cultural convergence among different ethnic groups and improve stability. The economy serves as an important foundation of society and China has always promoted the stability of border regions by means of market-oriented reforms.

Policy support: Comprehensive measures show determination of central government

Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science under the Ministry of Finance, said the policies issued by the central government to support the accelerated development of Xinjiang’s economy and society are closely linked with public livelihood, and several preferential policies along with the adoption of the new resource tax implies the central government’s determination to push forward Xinjiang’s accelerated development.

In regards to the specific methods for Xinjiang to develop itself under the support of a series of policies, Wei said Xinjiang should enact different policies and measures in its various regions. For instance, Urumqi should play the role of a central city by building a city cluster in northern Xinjiang, integrating industrial resources within Xinjiang and promote foreign trade by developing processing trade.

Xinjiang should share complementary advantages with other provinces and municipalities.

According to sources, Xinjiang will receive total financial support of more than 10 billion yuan from 19 provinces and municipalities next year. Wei said if the 19 provinces and municipalities share 10 billion yuan equally, each will only get slightly over 500 million yuan, which they do not need as urgently as Xinjiang. The strong support will definitely bring good opportunities for the development of Xinjiang.

However, Wei noted that Xinjiang should establish a more effective development mechanism and share complementary advantages with other areas. Xinjiang is rich in natural resources, and industrial development mainly depends on these resources. Its industrial chain is too short, namely that Xinjiang mostly sells unprocessed resources. Xinjiang should strengthen its self-development capacity.

The reform of resource taxes will increase Xinjiang’s fiscal revenue.

Xinjiang will be the first to carry out the pilot reform of resource taxes. An Tifu, a professor at the School of Finance under Renmin University, said the tax is an important tool to promote economic development. Although it has huge reserves of oil and gas, Xinjiang, located in central-western China, has developed slowly in terms of economy in recent years because of the unfavorable geographical conditions. Since resource taxes are local taxes and the central government has changed the volume-based resource tax to ad valorem tax, Xinjiang will collect far more tax revenue to improve public facilities, which is conducive to social stability and ethnic harmony.

Furthermore, China’s eastern coastal areas purchase the most resources from Xinjiang, so the reform of resource taxes will narrow the income gap between Xinjiang and coastal areas.

By People's Daily Online


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