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China Sets up Joint Meeting to Develop Central Region

The State Council, China's cabinet, has approved to set up a mechanism of ministry-level joint meetings to promote the development of the country's central region, a circular released on the government's website said on Thursday.

The meetings will be joined by 18 ministry-level governmental branches, including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce and the People's Bank of China, among others.

The NDRC is responsible for organizing the meetings when required. They are designed to research, implement and coordinate the country's strategic arrangements and policies for the rise of the central region.

Other authorities may be called to the meetings if needed, the circular said.

The central region includes six provinces and covers about 1.02 million square kilometers, about 10.7 percent of China's total land area. It produces about 40 percent of the country's food supply and has enormous energy resources, such as coal.

The region accounts for about one-third of China's 1.3 billion population.

(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2008)

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