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China issues five-year plan to develop border regions

Updated: Jun 6,2017 6:28 PM

The State Council has issued a five-year plan for developing border regions and improving border residents’ income.

It urged to develop infrastructure in border regions in various fields, including transportation, water conservancy, energy, information technology, and promote urban construction.

People’s lives in border areas should be improved. Measures will be taken to help residents escape poverty, improve their living conditions and build better social welfare system, according to the plan.

Education is regarded as the priority. More loans should be provided to poor students. Bilingual education should be continued in ethnic minority regions. Ethnic groups’ right to use their own language in education should be protected, according to the plan.

Healthcare and cultural services should also be promoted. Policies will be issued to encourage border residents to start businesses.

Border regions are asked to develop their own advantageous industries in the agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors. More industrial parks should be built there.

They also are being asked to open markets wider, by upgrading foreign trade, facilitating border ports’ supervision and service, and joining in the Belt and Road Initiative.

The ecosystem and environment should be protected to build an “ecological security shield” for the nation, according to the plan.

Ethnic unity should be protected and border defense be enhanced. Service and governance in grassroots authorities should be improved. Illegal behaviors, such as smuggling, drug and gun trafficking, should be strictly cracked down on.

The plan will be implemented in nine regions: Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Yunnan and Gansu provinces and Guangxi Zhuang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions. It will also be implemented with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. Six ethnic autonomous counties in Hainan province will also enjoy preferential policies in the plan.

In China, border areas cover 1.97 million square kilometers with a population of more than 23 million, and half of the population belongs to minority groups.