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West China: Significant growth and development
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10:37, September 17, 2009

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The western region is the largest region of China. It accounts for two thirds of China's land and has the longest border line. West China once was the most closed and least developed region in the country, and for a long time, there was a large gap between this region and east China. However, after an unremitting effort of 60 years, West China has transformed from poor to become rich, from a less developed region to become relatively developed. A beautiful, vigorous and charming west China has emerged.

Economic Development

Manufacturing hydraulic pressure machine tools is the principal business of Li Liangguang's Fujian Haiyuan Automatic Equipments Co., Ltd., and the east China market is usually his company's target. However, impacted by the international financial crisis, the number of orders received from east China has dropped significantly. While Li was anxious, orders from western regions, including Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan and Shaanxi Provinces, and Chongqing City increased. This surprised him considerably.

"West China has changed significantly. If we chose a word to describe the change, it would be 'thorough'," said Liu Jie, Director of the Sichuan Development and Reform Commission. Sixty years ago, the economy of west China was still in a natural, less developed and closed state, but today the region is fully achieving modernization and becoming an affluent society.

According to the "Blue Book of the West: Economic Development Report of China's Western Region 2009," the GDP of the entire western region increased from 1.464738 trillion yuan in 1998 to 5.825658 trillion yuan in 2008. The average annual growth rate was 11.42 percent, higher than China's average of 9.64 percent. It was this decade that west China enjoyed the fastest economic growth. At present, the GPD of west China accounts for 17.8 percent of China's total GDP.

Sichuan is a large agricultural province in west China. In 2007, the GDP of Sichuan exceeded one trillion yuan for the first time to reach 1.05053 trillion yuan, ranking in the top four in the western region, and ranking ninth nationally. In 2008, the GDP of Sichuan increased by 200 billion yuan to reach 1.25063, and per capita GDP reached 15,378 yuan. The industrial structure of west China is also changing rapidly. In 1952, the primary, secondary and tertiary industries of Shaanxi Province respectively accounted for 65.4 percent, 19.7 percent and 14.9 percent, but in 2008, the three percentages reached 11 percent, 56.1 percent and 32.9 percent, indicating that Shaanxi has entered the medium term of industrialization.

For hundreds of years, west China was agriculture-oriented. However at present, the region has an increasing number of special advantageous industries. Industries such as important strategic resources development, modern processing and manufacturing, technology innovation, characteristic agriculture and its deep processing, new energy and tourism have all basically formed, and the advantage of the industrial cluster is becoming more obvious. New economic growth poles such as the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Zone, the Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone and the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone are being cultivated rapidly, and will become strategic focal points promoting and supporting the development of west China.

By People's Daily Online

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