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China sets out new blueprint for West

China is drawing up a new 10-year development plan for the West, setting off a new round of energizing stimulus for the region's economy and environment, the Beijing New reported. The first 10-year Western Development Strategy will end this year.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic policy planner, is putting final touches on the new plan, said Wang Jinxiang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The new plan will focus on environmental protection while abandoning the obsession with GDP and transforming the government into a body that offers public services. Industries such as energy, chemical, mineral, machinery, technology, agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism will become pillar industries.

Moreover, the West will form several industrial clusters for agriculture and minerals. The State Council has approved construction of the Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone, and a detailed plan is under discussion. More economic zones are in the pipelines.

The new plan will still maintain and intensify partial favorable policies that were written into the first plan, such as policies for infrastructure and environmental construction.

The government will introduce a pilot compensation program for the environment while continuing the existing compensation programs for Sanjiangyuan, Qinghai Province, and the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. When conditions permit, more areas will be integrated into the compensation program.

Over the last decade, the West's economy has maintained a growth rate of at least 11 percent, mostly boosted by preferential government policies.


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