China plans to start construction of 12 new key projects with a total investment of 165.4 billion yuan (US$20.68 billion) in its undeveloped west, industrial watchdog said.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's industrial watchdog, made public on Friday the 12 new projects.
Among the 12 projects, there is one railway project between Taiyuan, provincial capital of central's Shanxi province and Zhongwei city in northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, a series of highways and some small airports capable for specific airlines in the west.
The government will also build several key coal mine projects in the west, including the Shengli No 1 coal mine in Inner Mongolia and and Meihuajing coal mine in Ningxia.
Three new hydropower stations and a reservoir are also included among the 12 new projects.
According to the NDRC, among the projects are an 800,000-ton ethene project in Sichuan, a 1.2 million-ton kainite project in Xinjiang, and a 400,000-ton alumina project in Inner Mongolia.
In addition, projects concerning high-technology industries, education, and health care in the west will also be launched.
The NDRC said all the 12 projects are related to the infrastructure construction in the west, especially focusing on the poor rural areas.
Though Chinese government has tighten control over investment this year so as to cool the heating economy, the financial support to the western development has not been changed, said officials with the NDRC.
According to the NDRC, every year the central government will open a number of new projects in the west to help boost local economy. From the year 2000 to the end of 2005, a total of 70 key projects have been launched in the west, with a total investment nearly 1,000 billion yuan.(Source: Xinhua)