Commentary: Pairing assistance boosts Xinjiang development

(Xinhua) 15:24, September 22, 2023

URUMQI, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Thanks to a pairing assistance program, China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has achieved remarkable progress in local economic and social development, and in the improvement of people's lives.

A total of 19 provinces and cities in central, east and south China, as well as central government departments and many enterprises, are involved in the Xinjiang pairing mechanism, supporting different places in the vast northwestern region in fields such as economy, technology, education, health care and talent development.

To date, the region has seen unprecedented levels in terms of funding, participants, impact range, and results stemming from pairing assistance, demonstrating the political advantage of the Communist Party of China leadership and the strength of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The assistance projects have greatly improved the well-being of people of all ethnic groups in the region, contributing significantly to its eradication of absolute poverty in 2020.

Official data shows that the assisting provinces and cities have invested about 170 billion yuan (23.7 billion U.S. dollars) in Xinjiang over the past decade, with 80 percent of the funds spent on improving people's lives by providing them with access to safe housing, asphalt roads, tap water, and better education and medical services.

Such massive investment has enabled the region to improve the housing conditions of 11 million people. More than 2,100 schools have been built or renovated. Public services at the grassroots level have seen remarkable progress, while the pairing assistance program has also created hundreds of thousands of jobs.

With continuous support, Xinjiang has accelerated its high-quality economic development. Over the past decade, the regional GDP has doubled, reaching 1.7 trillion yuan in 2022, while growing at an annual average of 6.6 percent. Its industrial structure has been continuously optimized, and the region now has a modern industrial system led by the petrochemical, electric power and textile industries.

The program has also strengthened exchanges between Xinjiang and other parts of China, boosting sales of Xinjiang's agricultural products nationwide. Various tourist and cultural activities have boosted the unity and common development of all ethnic groups in the region, and helped build a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation.

With the country's all-round, targeted and long-term assistance and the endeavors of people of all ethnic groups, Xinjiang will certainly achieve greater progress in high-quality development, with lasting social stability, security and enduring prosperity.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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