Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday that Xinjiang should develop at a quicker pace to benefit people of all ethnic groups in the northwestern autonomous region.
The government discussed the economic and social development in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen on Wednesday.
"Xinjiang is in the best period of development with rapid expansion of its economy, marked improvements in living standards, social stability and ethnic harmony," said Wen.
"But we should also be aware that the development task in Xinjiang remains arduous," he added.
Xinjiang should take advantage of its natural resources such as oil, gas and coal, to build itself into an energy development center and an agricultural processing base, he said.
More water conservancy works, roads and public service facilities should be built to upgrade agricultural and urban infrastructure, he said, adding that environmental protection should not be ignored.
Xinjiang should try to achieve a balanced development between all its parts, improve the lives of farmers and herdsmen and promote trade with central Asia countries, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2007)