Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Coping with the Global Financial Crisis and Maintaining Steady and Properly Rapid Economic Development in the Western Area of China (1)
Source: MOFCOM View: 389 Date: 2011-05-16

People’s governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, and ministries and commissions of and institutions directly under the State Council,

Since this year, the western area has fully carried out a package of plans and relevant policies and measures to counter global financial crisis according to the unified arrangement of the CPC central committee and the State Council, and achieved positive effects in all respects. The economy has gradually recovered and showed a good momentum. Nevertheless, problems also exist in the western areas, for instance, small economic scale, products there at the bottom of the industrial chain, extensive production mode and poor ability of self-adjustment, and hence the foundation for economic recovery is unstable and unbalanced. To effectively counter global financial crisis and maintain steady and fairly rapid economic growth in the western area is the objective demand for unswervingly promoting the Western Development Campaign and the necessary requirement of carrying out the scientific outlook on development and building a harmonious socialistic society. It is of strategic significance for increasing domestic demand, developing growth potentials, providing more chances and promoting regional coordinated development. Governments and departments in the western areas shall strengthen their confidence and seize the opportunities of increase of domestic demand. They shall pay more attention to structural adjustment, social security and improvement of people’s livelihood, deepening reform and opening up and reduce impacts of global financial crisis to maintain steady and fairly rapid economic growth. With consent of the State Council, the following opinions are given:

1. Enhance infrastructure construction to lay good foundation for future development

More efforts shall be made on railway development. We shall enhance efforts on construction of passenger special lines and regional lines in the western area and the lines for coal transport in Shaanxi, Shanxi and western Inner Mongolia. The reconstruction of the existing lines shall be strengthened and the reconstruction of Shenmu-Shuozhou line and the construction of major lines including Lanzhou-Chongqing line, Nanning-Guangzhou line, Guiyang-Guangzhou line and Taiyuan-Zhongwei-Yinzhou line shall be quickened. The construction of Xi’an-Baoji special line for passenger traffic and the second line of Xi’an-Ankang line shall be started.

The construction of trunk highway and waterway infrastructure shall be speeded up. Efforts shall be made to promote the construction of eight trunk highways in the western area, including Yinchuan-Wuhan highway and Xi’an-Hefei highway. The construction of some sections of major highways shall be started, including the section of Lianyungang-Huoerguosi highway from Anxi to Xingxing Gorge and the section of Kuerle-Xining highway from Dunhuang to Jinshankou. More endeavors shall be made to reconstruct provincial highways in the area, promote the “smooth road project” and “road-access project” in rural areas in the west and focus on building of roads to counties and incorporated villages and of bituminous (cement) pavements in towns. We shall continue the construction of passenger stations, reconstruction of roads, ferries and docks and building of bridges in rural areas, and promote the waterway infrastructure construction of the Yangtze River and coastal ports along the Beibu Gulf.

The construction of airline hubs and feeder airports shall be quickened. We shall advance the reconstruction and expansion project of airline hubs in Xi’an, Chengdu and Chongqing and construction of feeder airports in Aershan, Guyuan and Tulufan, improve functions of feeder airports and start the construction of a batch of feeder airports to promote the aviation development.

More efforts shall be made to carry out major water projects. We shall continue the reinforcement of reservoirs with potential risks and construction of flood control projects and support water-source projects including “Rundian Project”, “Zeyu Project”, “Xingshu Project” and “Ziqian Project”. The efforts on construction of support facilities for and reconstruction of water-conservation facilities in large irrigation areas including Dujiangyan in Chengdu, Qingtong Gorge in Ningxia and Hetao area in Inner Mongolia shall be heightened. The construction of hydro complex projects of Tingzikou in Sichuan, Haibowan in Inner Mongolia and Pangduo in Tibet shall be started.

The energy infrastructure construction shall be promoted. Efforts shall be made to expedite the construction of major infrastructure projects including the second line for west-east natural gas transmission and of major grids and reconstruction of grid in rural areas, and improve the grid serving for the west-east natural gas transmission project. We shall promote the construction of coal-fired power base in Ningdong and put it into use as soon as possible.

More efforts shall be made on construction of urban and communication infrastructures. Rail traffic shall be promoted in western central cities such as Chongqing, Chengdu and Xi’an. The construction of sewage and wastes treatment infrastructure shall be quickened. Joint efforts shall be made on construction of shared communication infrastructure and the construction of G3 mobile communication network shall be promoted. We shall accelerate establishment of a unified E-government network in the western area.

Efforts shall be made on selection of major projects for future and preparations. We shall make research on plans for international transport routes to the Central Asia, Pan Asia and the South Asia. The preparations for national express and railways of Xi’an-Chongqing line and Chongqing-Guiyang-Nanning line and China-neighboring countries lines shall be quickened. The construction of land-way channel for safe transport of energies with strategic importance shall be promoted. The preliminary works for projects including divergence of Hanjiang River to Weihe River, Guangjingkou of Chongqing, Divergence of Xinjiang Burjin River Stage I and Kalabeili Water Complex shall be started.

2. Make more efforts in environmental protection and ecological construction to build a conservation-oriented and environment-friendly society

The achievements of returning cultivated land to forest and returning grazing land to grassland shall be consolidated. We shall implement the plan for consolidation of achievements of returning cultivated land to forest, carry out measures for issues concerning provision of basic farmland for planting grains for self use, energy in rural areas, ecological migration, follow-up industry development, forestation and training for farmers who participate in the program of returning cultivated land to forest, and solve farmers’ current difficulties and issues concerning livelihood in future. Forestation shall be undertaken in barren mountains and wastelands. We shall improve policies for returning grazing land to grassland, quicken the implementation and expand of the coverage of the said project, enhance efforts on building human-made pasture, water complex in pasturing areas and livestock sheds, and promote breeding of livestock according to natural conditions and in sheds.

The construction of major ecological projects shall be promoted. We shall advance major projects including the “Three-North Shelter Forest Program”, treatment project of sandstorm sources of Beijing and Tianjin, natural forest protection project, Sanjiangyuan Natural Reserve protection project in Qinghai, comprehensive treatment of Shiyang River Basin in Gansu, and ecological protection of important water-supply area of the Yellow River in south Gansu province. We shall conduct comprehensive treatment of Heihe River and Talimu River basins and promote conservation of water and soil at the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River and the construction of warp land dams on the Loess Plateau. Efforts shall be made to formulate plans for ecological protection and construction in the water-sources conservation areas in Qilian Mountain and at the southeast of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The efforts on ecological protection in the Yangtze River and Pearl River basins in Diqing, Yunnan shall be heightened. The treatment of soil erosion resulting from stone desert shall be promoted.

More efforts shall be made on comprehensive environmental treatment. We shall make more endeavors to prevent and control water pollution in Danjiangkou reservoir and the upper reach of Danjiang River, the “Three Gorge” reservoir, the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River and Lake Dian, and conduct trade in pollutant discharging quotas. We shall make environmental monitoring and enhance efforts on comprehensive treatment of environment in rural areas and treatment of industrial pollution. We shall put forward the program of the 2nd batch of national demonstration pilots for recycling economy, support construction of major projects for recycling economy, promote clean production and quicken up to close down the enterprises that waste resources, cause serious pollution and fail to meet requirements for safe production. More efforts shall be made on prevention and treatment of geologic hazard and promote restoration of geological environment in mining areas and land development and reclamation in major areas. The reutilization of construction garbage in disaster-stricken areas shall be promoted.

3. Adjust industrial structure and change the mode of economic development

The development of agriculture with characteristics shall be accelerated. We shall proactively improve farmlands with medium or low yields and spend more efforts in developing dry farming and water saving agriculture. The comprehensive treatment of soil erosion in cultivated lands shall be launched and certain number of basic farmlands that meet high standards shall be developed. The grain output shall be increased in Chengdu Plain of Sichuan, Guanzhong Plain of Shaanxi, Hetao area of Inner Mongolia, areas along the Yellow River in Ningxia and Hexi Corridor in Gansu. We shall actively promote the construction of production bases of quality cotton, sugar crops, oil-bearing crops, tobaccos, fruits, flowers, tea, sericulture, potato, livestock products, Chinese medicinal plants and natural rubber, build a batch of agricultural product processing demonstration bases and cultivate some leading enterprises with certain industrial influence. Supports shall be given to Shanxi Yangling Agricultural Hi-tech Industry Demonstration Zone, Gansu Tianshui Space Mutation Breeding Demonstration Zone and Yunnan Subtropical Agriculture Demonstration Zone. We shall support the construction of quality agricultural products production bases and development of leading industrialized agricultural enterprises, improve industrialization level and enhance application of advance and practical technologies in and scientific and technical services for agriculture and rural areas.

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