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China to strengthen poverty relief in old revolutionary base areas

Updated: Feb 2,2016 10:39 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will increase poverty alleviation in old revolutionary base areas, mostly in the country’s less-developed central and western parts, to boost local growth and improve people’s livelihood, an official document said.

The revolutionary bases are regarded as the roots of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and army but have been lagging behind the country’s rapid economic progress in the past few decades due to factors such as poor infrastructure and unfavorable geographic positioning.

China hopes to change this as it wages a decisive battle against poverty with the ambitious goal of lifting its 70 million poor people above the poverty line by 2020.

A guideline released on Feb 1 by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council further showed the resolution of policymakers.

To break development bottlenecks, the government will help improve infrastructure, develop energy resources and foster special industries, as well as provide more fiscal and financial support, according to the guideline.

Transport networks, including expressways and railroads, will be expanded in the regions; electricity and web services will be improved; more water conservation projects will be built.

State-owned and private firms will be allowed to explore resources including coal, oil and shale gas in those areas, and build plants powered by clean energy, such as hydropower, wind power and solar energy.

Local governments will be encouraged to develop special farm produce and tourism.

Through those measures, the government aims to make the old revolutionary base areas prosperous by 2020, with an improved local economy and growth rate in people’s income higher than the national average.

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