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China publishes plan for development in minority areas

(Xinhua)

10:07, July 21, 2012

BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, or China's cabinet, on Friday issued a five-year plan outlining the social and economic development in the ethnic minority areas.

The economic growth rate in the minority areas should be higher than the national average level, and the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in minority areas should be increased to be close to the national average, according to the plan published on the Chinese government's website www.gov.cn.

The plan vowed to narrow the gap between the per capita income of the minority people and the national average income, and keep the urban unemployment within 5 percent.

The new rural and urban endowment insurance should cover all the administrative minority areas, including five provincial autonomous regions and 30 autonomous prefectures, according to the plan.

The legal systems for the minority population will be improved in order to better safeguard the rights and interests of the minority people and achieve harmonious relations among different ethnic peoples.

The plan also pledged improved protection and publicity of the traditional minority cultures, as well as full access for the minority people to public cultural services.

A series of preferential policies concerning finance, investment, education, social security and eco-compensation have been meted out in the plan to promote all-round progress in the minority areas.

According to results of the sixth national census released by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2011, China has a minority population of more than 113 million, or 8.49 percent of the total population.

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