Chinese premier stresses advancing development of western regions

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for advancing the development of China’s western regions to a new level by drawing strength from reform and opening up and innovation-driven development.

Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks Monday at a meeting of a State Council leading group on western development. Li is head of the leading group.

Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and deputy head of the leading group, attended the meeting.

Li urged the western regions to commit more efforts to empowering market entities, improving the business environment, and expanding opening up.

The regions should give full play to the leading role of scientific and technological innovation, and cultivate and develop characteristic industries and emerging industries, Li said.

The western regions should better leverage their advantages in wind, solar and hydro-electric energy as well as mineral resources to build large-scale clean-energy bases and enhance their capacities in guaranteeing energy and important resources for the country, he added.

The premier stressed efforts to strengthen ecological protection and restoration and environmental governance, noting that the regions should strive to boost green development.

He also underscored efforts to consolidate and escalate the gains in poverty alleviation, maintain the stability of major favorable policies, and promote rural vitalization.