Sun, 22 May 2022

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BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday issued a guideline to support southwest China's Guizhou Province in breaking new ground in the country's pursuit of large-scale development of its western regions in the new era.

The guideline, released by the State Council, China's cabinet, clarified Guizhou's strategic role as a demonstration area for comprehensive reform in the development of west China, and encouraged the province to blaze new trails in rural vitalization, the development of the digital economy, and the construction of an ecological civilization.

By 2025, comprehensive reforms in the province to advance the development of west China should have seen notable progress, and the regional economy should be more open, the guideline stated.

It said that the province's economic strength will reach a new level by 2035, and that it will be better equipped to take part in international cooperation and competition.

Specifically, the guideline called for accelerated reform for the market-based allocation of production factors and the comprehensive improvement of the business environment.

Rural vitalization and new urbanization should be pushed forward in Guizhou, with a focus on boosting modern and efficient agriculture in mountainous areas, the guideline said.

On improving convenience in trade and investment, the guideline underscored the importance of promoting the construction of an inland open economy pilot zone while strengthening regional cooperation.

Highlighting the importance of a modern industrial system led by the digital economy, the document urged efforts to enhance science and technology innovation, upgrade traditional industries and facilitate the development of the culture and tourism industry.

Efforts should also be made to protect the local ecological system, safeguard and improve people's livelihoods, and enhance risk prevention capacities in fields such as energy supply and flood control, the guideline said.

China in 1999 put forward a national strategy for the large-scale development of its western region, also known as the "go west" strategy.

The country's vast western region covers 12 provincial-level regions including Guizhou, Chongqing, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang.

Compared to the country's eastern coastal regions, economic development in west China is relatively regressive, but the region has seen rapid growth in recent years with the help of government initiatives.

After years of development, Guizhou has evolved into a national big data hub, with increasing investment in new infrastructure such as data centers.

The province's GDP hit 1.96 trillion yuan (about 310 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021, up 8.1 percent year on year, level with national GDP growth.

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