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Premier stresses reform and opening-up in western development

Updated: Jun 22,2021 21:23

Premier Li Keqiang called for efforts in pushing forward the development of the western region to a new level through reform and opening-up, as well as innovative development.

Premier Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks during a meeting of the steering group on western development on June 21.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also attended the meeting, which deployed work plans for western development at present and during the 14th Five-Year-Plan period.

Premier Li said development of the western region concerns the overall situation of the country's reform and opening-up, as well as modernization construction.

Noting the region has achieved historical results in recent years, he pointed out that problems of unbalanced and insufficient development are still prominent. Gaps and huge potential deserve equal attention, he added.

The Premier asked related departments to implement new development concepts, promote high-quality development, further reform and opening-up, and enhance internal driving forces. He also called for more work in the protection of the ecological environment and improvement of peoples' lives to herald the new situation of western development, and expand room for the country's sustainable and healthy development.

Western regions should have a sense of urgency in fostering market entities, which serve as the foundation of the market economy, he said.

The Premier stressed that the reforms to streamline administration and delegate power, improve regulation, and upgrade services should be further promoted to build a better business environment. More efforts should be spent to offer convenience to entrepreneurs, protect fair competition in the market and provide better government affairs service to lower the cost of trade, operation and transportation, promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation, unleash social creativity, and inject more energy into enterprises for them to exploit markets.

Thus a trend will be formed, in which micro, small and medium-sized enterprises spring up and support large ones to flourish, the Premier said, adding that more work should be done to expand opening-up to both domestic and global markets, more effectively attract investment, talents and new technologies, and achieve a stronger development ability and a more advantaged development stage.

Premier Li said that the leading role of scientific and technological innovation must be played well, with specialty industries and emerging industries cultivated. Traditional industries should be upgraded to mid- to high-end level. The natural resource advantages of wind, light, hydropower and minerals in the western region should be exploited to the full to upgrade exploration and development technology and raise conversion efficiency. Large clean energy bases should be built to strengthen the country’s support capacity in energy and important resources and maintain the stability and safety of the industrial chain and supply chain.

The level of modernization of agriculture and animal husbandry in the western region should be raised, and tourism and cultural industries should be actively developed, said Premier Li. He also stressed the significance of infrastructure construction, by accelerating the construction of a major traffic network, important transportation hubs, and key water conservancy projects. New infrastructure, such as information facilities, also should be upgraded. Green development should be valued in the western region, with ecological conservation and restoration, as well as environmental governance further enhanced.

Premier Li stated that living standards should be ensured and improved through development. To promote rural revitalization, the achievements in poverty alleviation should be consolidated, and the major supporting policies should remain generally stable. Various channels should be built to encourage migrant workers to seek jobs outside and locally. The government should exert its utmost according to its abilities in expanding investment and promoting the equalization of basic public service, especially in enhancing the guarantee capability of compulsive education, basic medical service and basic housing. Institutions of higher learning should continue to expand enrollment scale in the western region, the Premier added.

According to the Premier, policy support in finance and taxes should be enhanced with better partner assistance from relatively developed regions, and social forces should be further motivated to make concerted efforts in the western development drive.

Vice-premiers Sun Chunlan and Hu Chunhua, state councilors Wang Yong and Xiao Jie, and He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also attended the meeting.