ADB Provides US$105 Mln Loan for Projects in Xinjiang
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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a loan of US$105 million for infrastructure development in China's northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The project focuses on three areas in Xinjiang: Alashankou, a major trade and transport hub on the border with Kazakhstan, the Kanas scenic region and Yining City, ADB officials said on Monday.
"We aim to strengthen cross-border trade, tourism development and economic growth to raise living standards while protecting the environment of the poorest, most remote parts of the country," said Amy Leung, Principal Urban Development Specialist of the ADB's East Asia Department.
The project cost is estimated at US$190.9 million. Local authorities will supply the balance beyond the ADB loan. The Manila-based bank will also provide a US$150,000 grant to support tourism development and hygiene instruction in Kanas.
The ADB said the first component of the project will be in Yining City. It involves the development of four main roads, the repair of 33 local roads and the construction of sanitation facilities.
The improvement of water supply infrastructure, waste water treatment facilities, telecommunications and other municipal services are included.
The second phase, in Alashankou, will build 13 roads and repair six, construct water and sewage treatment facilities and build ecological protection areas, the bank said.
The final component, in Kanas, a popular tourist destination bordering Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, will involve the construction of roads, a water supply system and solid waste and sewage treatment facilities.
The bank also announced its new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for China in a report, which aims to promote balanced and inclusive economic growth and increased protection for the environment from 2008-2010.
The report puts emphasis on encouraging private-sector participation in efforts to eradicate poverty and foster regional cooperation.
"Reducing poverty remains a daunting challenge in China. Sustaining growth will be vital for this, but that will not be possible without addressing environmental degradation, growing inequality and strains on resources," said Robert Wihtol, Country Director of the ADB's China Resident Mission.
Xinjiang shares borders with eight countries and is the gateway between China and Central Asia. With the historic Silk Road passing through it, it is rich in history and culture.
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2008)