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Old industrial bases to recover by boosting equipment manufacturing
( 2003-10-09 00:32) (Xinhua)

Outdated industrial centers in northeast China can resume its former boom and splendour by focusing on equipment manufacturing, a senior Chinese official said here Wednesday.

These old industrial bases should prioritize equipment manufacturing while restructuring the economy, said Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, during an inspection tour of the country's northernmost Heilongjiang province.

They should introduce and apply advanced technologies and update their industrial equipment manufacturing to sharpen their competitiveness, Li said.

Li made a week-long inspection from Oct. 2 to 8 in the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, leading industrial bases in the past decades, which were suffering a slump because of technological and management problems.

In Jilin Province, 146 of the 405 large and medium-sized state- owned enterprises were near bankruptcy last year.

The central government has placed much importance on revitalizing the economy of the three provinces in the northeast, Li said, adding that they have favorable conditions to develop equipment manufacturing.

He also urged local governments and enterprises to help laid- off workers from state-owned enterprises to get re-employed.

Equipment manufacturing, one of the backbone industries and a key index of a country's economic power, Li acknowledged, is significant for China's national security and long-term interest.

Insiders have noticed that the country's manufacturing is inclined to light industries and the country depends much on imported equipment.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, two thirds of China's social investment in equipment goes to imported products, especially those used to produce optic fiber, integrated circuits, petro-chemicals, automobiles and textiles.

The country produced 3.25 million cars last year but 70 percent of the machine tools used to make cars were imported.

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