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China to focus on western region's infrastructure, environment
China's development strategy for its western region will focus on infrastructure construction and protection of the ecological environment in the year 2002, a vital period for the project.
An official with the office in charge of western China development said Tuesday that within the year, each county or prefecture in western China will construct at least one tarmac highway linking it with its respective provincial capital.
Meanwhile, a comprehensive electricity supply network and a radio-television broadcasting system will be constructed covering most counties and towns in the western region, the official told Xinhua, the country's national news agency.
In addition, 2.27 million hectares of farmland in western China will be returned to grassland and forest use. The year's afforestation project will also add a total forest area of 2.66 million hectares to the region.
The official also called for joint efforts for the promotion of education, scientific research, technological development, agricultural production and tourism in the region.
In 2000 and 2001, the fixed assets in western China's 12 provinces increased by 15 and 19 percent, respectively, higher than the average increase rate in the eastern coastal area of China.
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