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Li: People's livelihood top priority

By Shao Wei in Shanghai and Tong Hao in Beijing (China Daily)

08:18, May 31, 2012

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang urged provinces and municipalities to focus more on projects related to people's livelihood and environmental protection when offering aid to support the development of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The provinces and municipalities should act more efficiently in pushing projects such as housing, employment, medical care and social security in Xinjiang, Li said on Wednesday during the third national work conference on "pairing assistance" projects to support Xinjiang's development.

The latest round of "pairing assistance" projects, first unveiled by the central government in March 2010, involve 19 provinces and municipalities.

He also said it is important to develop infrastructure construction such as traffic and water resources facilities as well as environmental protection projects.

In addition, the provinces and municipalities should strengthen talent support and help the region develop science, education and government officials' skills, Li said.

He affirmed the achievement in supporting Xinjiang's development during the past two years.

In 2011, the region received 128.1 billion yuan ($20.1 billion) of cooperation funds from the 19 provinces and municipalities, an increase of 60 percent year-on-year, according to a China Central Television report on Wednesday.

Li pointed out that China's economy is facing increasing pressures, and thus it is necessary to insist on expanding domestic demand. With a vast area and rich resources, Xinjiang is one of the major "battlefields" to help enlarge domestic demand and to receive industrial transfers from developed regions.

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