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Efforts Urged to Boost Economy in Western Regions

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China on Thursday called for more efforts to boost economic growth in its western regions.

Premier Wen Jiabao chaired a meeting of the leading group under the State Council for the development of China's western regions. Vice Premier Li Keqiang also attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed and passed a guideline on maintaining stable and fast economic growth in the western regions amid the global economic downturn.

The government would carry on with its policy to develop the western regions as the policy proved effective in boosting economic and social progresses there in the 10 years since its launch.

More funds would be put into the areas for infrastructure construction including railways, roads, airports and water conservation projects.

The government would stress environmental protection in the areas and further promote the "grain for green project", a project to prevent sand storms and protect sources of the three key rivers that start in Qinghai Province.

China would make more efforts to upgrade the industrial structure in the western regions and boost industries with advantages there.

The government would speed up the development of social causes to improve people's livelihoods. It would work to add more job opportunities, improve people's living conditions and upgrade education and medical services.

The meeting also stressed efforts to help rebuild the areas destroyed by the strong earthquake in May 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2009)

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