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Sichuan makes great strides in development over last decade

By HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-19 07:16
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A Volkswagen employee works on an assembly line in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in December. [Photo by WANG QIN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Sichuan has opened wider to the outside world in the past decade, leading to the sharp growth of the province's economy, said Huang Qiang, the governor of Sichuan.

He made the remark at a news conference on the province's achievements over the past 10 years in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, on Thursday.

The number of highways and expressways connecting Sichuan with the outside has increased to 40 in 2021 from 21 in 2012. The province now has economic and trade relations with more than 220 countries and regions. It is home to more than 5,200 foreign-funded enterprises, the governor said.

Over the past decade, Sichuan's regional economic development has been more coordinated. The province's gross domestic product more than doubled from 2.39 trillion yuan ($352 billion) in 2012 to 5.39 trillion yuan last year.

In 2021, the total economic value produced by Chengdu accounted for 46.4 percent of the provincial GDP, and the total economic value of the seven other major regional cities accounted for 34.8 percent of the provincial GDP, the governor said.

Sichuan has attached great importance to the revitalization and development of the old revolutionary areas in the province and those with large ethnic minority populations.

The Dadu River Bridge of the Ya'an-Kangding Expressway in Luding county, known as the first bridge between Sichuan and the Tibet autonomous region, has opened up a major link from the interior into Tibet's inhabited areas, Huang said.

Of Sichuan's 183 counties, 161 had been classified as poor and nearly 6.3 million people used to live in poverty. The province lifted all the poor people out of poverty by 2020.

The per capita disposable income of rural residents in formerly poor areas amounted to 14,909 yuan in 2021, up 12.6 percent year-on-year, Huang said.

Sichuan's green and low-carbon development advantages have been more obvious in the past decade, the governor said. Sichuan is the largest clean energy base in China. The Baihetan Hydropower Station, which is the second-largest hydropower project in the world, has an installed capacity of 16 million kilowatts.

In the past decade, Sichuan's power transmission to eastern parts of China is equivalent to the annual power generation capacity of 11 Three Gorges hydropower stations, Huang said.

Wan Zhigao contributed to this story.


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