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Steel giant vows to pioneer rust-belt revitalization
( 2003-10-10 00:32) (Xinhua)

The Anshan Iron and Steel Company (Angang) is pledging to serve as the pioneer of China's rust-belt in line with the central government's call for accelerated efforts to revitalize the old northeast industrial bases.

Anshan City in Liaoning province has been planning an economic zone centered around Angang to boost a chain of industries, according to Li Yingjie, secretary of the Anshan Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Friday.

Such industries as manufacturing, processing and distribution should closely connect to Angang development and share resources with it, said Li.

Local authority should make the issues of Angang a priority and cannot delay, said Li. Meanwhile, he added, all-round cooperation between Angang and non-steel firms should be boosted in fields like assets reallocation and employment as well.

As China's biggest steel complex, Angang contributes the most to local revenue. Its gross assets totaled 68.19 billion yuan (approximately US$8.3 billion) in 2002.

Angang, which used to be a "microcosm" of the entire rust-belt, should become a vanguard in the revitalization process in the coming years, noted Wen Shizhen, secretary of the provincial CPC committee on National Day this year.

Covering the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, the northeast China region played a vital role in the country's industrial development in the 1950s to early 1970s.

The ratio of the region's industrial output value to the national total dropped to nine percent from a record 17 percent.

The Chinese government decided in early September to turn those outdated, rusty and lagging industrial centers in the northeast and other parts of China into modern industrial bases, making them new and essential growth areas of the national economy.

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