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China to Launch 10 Key Projects in Western Regions

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China is to launch 10 key projects in the western regions this year to promote the strategy of developing its vast west.

The National Development and Reform Commission said on its website that the 10 projects, with a combined budget of 436 billion yuan (US$64.12 billion), are aimed at boosting the economic and social development of western regions.

These projects include new railway lines connecting Guiyang and Guangzhou, Lanzhou and Chongqing, Kashgar and Hotan in Xinjiang; highways between Wanyuan and Dazhou in Sichuan Province, Shuikou and Duyun in Guizhou Province; airport expansion projects in Chengdu, Chongqing and Xi'an.

They also include the building of hydropower stations, coal mines, gas and oil transmission tube lines as well as public utilities projects in western regions.

By the end of 2007, China has started 92 key construction projects in western regions, with a total investment of more than 1.3 trillion yuan.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2008)