Xin­jiangjg as­sis­tance to re­lieve poverty

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CUI JIA cui­jia@chi­

Fu­ture as­sis­tance projects to help de­velop the Xin­jiang Uygur au­tonomous re­gion must fo­cus on poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and help lo­cal peo­ple find jobs nearby, the na­tion’s top po­lit­i­cal ad­viser said dur­ing a re­cently con­cluded three-day con­fer­ence in the re­gion.

The cen­tral govern­ment im­ple­mented a new round of a “pair­ing as­sis­tance” pro­gram for Xin­jiang in 2011, which re­quires 19 prov­inces and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties as well as min­istries to sup­port the devel­op­ment of dif­fer­ent parts of the re­gion.

The pri­or­ity for as­sis­tance providers is to en­sure that the ar­eas within their re­spon­si­bil­ity achieve their poverty al­le­vi­a­tion goals on time.

They also need to help Xin­jiang de­velop la­bor-in­ten­sive in­dus­tries so more low-in­come peo­ple can find jobs near their homes, said Yu Zheng­sheng, chair­man of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Chi­nese Peo­ple’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence.

Yu, also head of the Cen­tral Lead­ing Group on Xin­jiang Works, spoke dur­ing the 6th Na­tional Work Con­fer­ence on pair­ing as­sis­tance projects for Xin­jiang.

He also em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of im­prov­ing the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion. The con­fer­ence was held in Kash­gar, Xin­jiang, from Sun­day to Tues­day.

The re­gional govern­ment thinks that poverty and poor ed­u­ca­tion have con­trib­uted to the spread of ex­trem­ism and ter­ror­ism in Xin­jiang. The cen­tral govern­ment has put main­tain­ing so­cial sta­bil­ity as the re­gion’s top pri­or­ity.

The pair­ing projects must help re­solve the fun­da­men­tal, long-term prob­lems that af­fect the re­gion’s devel­op­ment and sta­bil­ity, Yu said.

Yu said pair­ing as­sis­tance has played an im­por­tant role in Xin­jiang’s devel­op­ment.

Each prov­ince or mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the pro­gram is as­signed spe­cific cities or coun­ties to as­sist by send­ing of­fi­cials and ex­perts in dif­fer­ent fields. The cen­tral govern­ment also re­quires the pair­ing partners to in­vest a cer­tain per­cent­age of their an­nual GDP in Xin­jiang.

Cen­tral govern­ment of­fi­cials have taken the provider’s ex­per­tise into ac­count. It paired Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, China's first and most suc­cess­ful spe­cial eco­nomic zone, with Kash­gar, a city with a new spe­cial zone that is to serve as a trade hub con­nect­ing Cen­tral Asian coun­tries on the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt.

Tian­jin has in­vested over 3 bil­lion yuan ($441.1 mil­lion) and sent 940 of­fi­cials to three coun­ties in Hotan pre­fec­ture since 2011, said Li Shuqi, deputy mayor of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, who at­tended the con­fer­ence.

The city has built 15 schools and kinder­gartens in Hotan. It also will al­lo­cate more funds to help lo­cal peo­ple climb out of poverty, he added.

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