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China Plans NW Inland Regional Economic Zone

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China will build an inland regional economic zone spanning two northwestern provinces, according to a design plan released by the State Council Information Office on Thursday.

The Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone Development Program showed a zone that would cover 79,800 square kilometers of Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

The area would be built into "a strategic highland for the country's inland economic development and opening-up," serving as a key manufacturing base and an industrial base to showcase modern agricultural technology, the plan said.

The most important aspect of the proposed zone was a policy for Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, to pursue scientific and technological reform, said Li Yingming, deputy director of the Department of Western Region Revitalization under the National Development and Reform Commission.

Xi'an would also study building an inland port bonded zone, Li said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2009)

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