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Rusty industrial base aims high
( 2003-10-13 20:35) (Xinhua)

The northeast province of Liaoning, a major but backward industrial base of China, has set a goal of becoming a leading equipment manufacturing and materials center of China in the next five years.

Under the plan, the added value of the province's equipment manufacturing is expected to reach 55 billion yuan (6.65 million US dollars) annually by 2005 and to top 120 billion yuan (14.5 billion US dollars) by 2010.

The province aims to lead the country in manufacturing communications and transport equipment, with top priority being given to the ship building and auto production.

Meanwhile, the province will strengthen the development of petrochemicals, iron and steel and building materials.

The annual output of pig iron and steel are each expected to reach 40 million tons, while rolled steel is expected to reach 39 million tons by 2010.

Liaoning expects development opportunities as the central government of China launches a strategy to revive traditional industrial bases in the northeast in the next few years.

The government made the decision in early September to turn outdated industrial bases of China into new and essential growth areas of the national economy. The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee last week called for accelerated efforts to revitalize the old northeast industrial bases, calling it a long-term and arduous task.

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

The northeast region, which produced the country's first steel, machine tools, locomotives and aircraft after the founding of New China in 1949, still has potential in these fields.

However, many of the traditional industrial firms established in the 1950s when China adopted a planned economic system, have become less competitive since the country implemented the policies of reform and opening to the outside world, and moved toward a market economy two decades ago.

The proportion of the region's industrial output value in the national total has dropped to 9 percent from 17 percent. Some loss- making state industries closed, laying off large numbers of workers.

To fully rejuvenate the declining industrial base, departments of the State Council and the governments of the three provinces are working on plans to restructure traditional industries.

After years of readjustment and development, Liaoning was expected to become one of the major growth areas of China's national economy, said Bo Xilai, governor of Liaoning.

Under the plan, the province's gross domestic product was expected to reach 1 trillion yuan (120.9 billion US dollars) by 2007 and the industrialization will be basically realized by 2010. 

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