China / Politics

NDRC gears up to support Xinjiang development

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-04 20:58

BEIJING - China's top economic planning body will work to implement a variety of support policies in employment, education and poverty reduction for northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, it said on Wednesday.

In the near term, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will focus on promoting economic and social development and improving living standards in southern Xinjiang, which has difficult geography and lower living standards, it said in a statement.

The agency also vowed to speed up the building of major transport, water conservation and agricultural infrastructure.

These actions will be taken to "continuously enhance equality of basic public services and make sure people of all ethnic groups enjoy the fruits of reform and opening up," said the statement.

The NDRC's statement came as part of follow-up moves to major decisions made at the second central work conference on Xinjiang, a two-day meeting which closed last Thursday.

The meeting was held in the wake of a series of bloody terrorist attacks in the region, including one in an open air market in Urumqi, the region's capital, which left 39 people dead and 94 injured on May 20.

A priority of good governance is to improve livelihoods so that people from all ethnic groups feel taken care of by the Party and state, President Xi Jinping said at the meeting, vowing that the government will focus on employment, education and poverty alleviation.

Under Xi's proposals, the government will spend more on education facilities and work to enroll more children in schools, as well as carrying out more poverty-alleviation programs in rural and border areas of Xinjiang.

At the same meeting, Premier Li Keqiang said employment is the biggest issue concerning people's livelihoods and urged all enterprises and investment projects in Xinjiang to try their best to employ locals.

To better implement the decisions of the meeting, the NDRC plans to deepen reform of the administrative approval mechanism, increase the efficiency of the approval process, and create a favorable investment environment.

The commission said it will also optimize the allocation of funds for supporting Xinjiang and enhance supervision of how policies aimed at boosting the region's development are carried out.

The central government decided at the first central work meeting on Xinjiang in 2010 to set up a mechanism under which 19 provinces or major cities, including the prosperous Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangdong Province, provide financial and technological support to Xinjiang.

By the end of April, these provinces or cities had offered 4.58 billion yuan (732.6 million US dollars) in aid to Xinjiang, accounting for 41.6 percent of the whole year's 11-billion-yuan target, according to the NDRC.

The construction of 592 projects designed to aid Xinjiang's development had started by the end of April, accounting for 54.3 percent of the total target number set early this year.

Hot Topics