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Xinjiang witnesses a historic leap in the past 60 years

Updated: Oct 2,2015 10:59 AM     Xinhua

Xinjiang Xiaerxili Nature Reserve in the summer time, July 26, 2015.[Photo by Tianshannet/Xinhua]

A white paper on ethnic equality, unity and development in Xinjiang revealed that the gross domestic product (GDP) of the region in 2014 was 115 times higher than in 1955.

The white paper, titled “Historical Witness to Ethnic Equality, Unity and Development in Xinjiang” and issued by the State Council Information Office, said that Xinjiang’s GDP was only 1.2 billion yuan ($188.76 million) in 1955 and 3.9 billion yuan in 1978.

In 2014, it reached 927.3 billion yuan, with an annual growth rate of 8.3 percent.

Xinjiang’s per-capita GDP rose to 40,648 yuan in 2014 from 241 yuan in 1955, marking a 23-fold increase in real terms, and a 5.6-percent annual growth.

The white paper further noted that the economic structure is being steadily optimized and the infrastructure has become more and more complete in Xinjiang.

“Xinjiang has become an information society,” the white paper said, adding that solid progress has been made in opening up to the outside world.

Moreover, the report added that steady progress has been made in environmental protection.

Since 2010, Xinjiang has planted or protected over 2.5 million mu (166,667 hectares) of forests by restricting access to mountain areas. Its total forest area and forest stock rank 14th and 12th respectively in China.

Bullet trains run on a bridge in the prefecture of Hami, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, May 22, 2015.[Photo by Tianshannet/Xinhua]

Locals in their ethnic costumes welcome their first tourists arriving by high-speed rails “Apricots” at the Turpan North Station, March 21, 2015.[Photo by Tianshannet/Xinhua]

A petroleum and gas pipeline project of Petro China underway in the Taklimakan Desert, July 27, 2013. [Photo by Tianshannet/Xinhua]

Children at a bilingual kindergarten in the township of Wutamu, Ruoqiang county, Bayingolin Mongolian autonomous prefecture, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, June 9, 2012.[Photo by Tianshannet/Xinhua]

A housing improvement project in progress at the rundown urban area on the Yuejin street, Urumqi, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, June 25, 2015 [Photo by Tianshannet/Xinhua]

Trains move on the horizon, June 28, 2011.[Photo by Tianshannet/Xinhua]