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China to pump 100 billion dollars into western regions

business Updated: Jul 06, 2010 10:58 IST
AFP
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China has said it will invest more than 100 billion dollars this year in 23 new infrastructure projects in impoverished western regions as part of efforts to boost domestic demand.

The plan was announced on Monday after Premier Wen Jiabao said the Chinese economy was facing an "extremely complicated" situation and two purchasing manager surveys showed manufacturing activity had slowed in June.

The 682.2 billion yuan will be used to build railways, roads, airports, coal mines, nuclear power stations and power grids, the National Development and Reform Commission said on its website.

Construction will start this year to "actively expand domestic demand and promote the fast and healthy development of the western areas," the top economic planning agency said.

The areas include the northwestern region of Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan and Yunnan in the southwest.

It is unclear whether the spending is part of a 586-billion-dollar government stimulus package unveiled in late 2008 to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis.

China has long sought to boost development in the poorer western areas. It spent 2.2 trillion yuan on 120 major projects between 2000 and 2009, the statement said.

State media reported last month that Beijing would pour around 10 billion yuan in economic aid into Xinjiang from 2011 in a bid to raise the living standards of the Uighur minority.

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