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China releases five-year plan to develop minority areas

Updated: Jan 24,2017 7:34 PM     english.gov.cn

The State Council has issued a five-year plan (2016-2020) for the development of ethnic minorities, including a goal to boost the economic growth rate in minority areas higher than the national average.

Under the plan, the 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income of both rural and urban residents in minority areas should be doubled that in 2010.

It also set 2020 targets on industrial value-added output, the urbanization rate, poverty alleviation, and export and import volumes.

The plan suggests local governments adopt policies that address the needs of impoverished people living in extremely harsh conditions, in scarcely populated villages or in border villages which cannot be relocated.

The circular also suggested various resources related to capital, skills, information and technology should be integrated.

It also offered national support to backup the implementation of key projects for poverty alleviation, such as distinctive industries, labor service export, and relocation.

It underlined efforts to strengthen the construction of key infrastructure related to transportation, tourism, water conservancy projects and education.

It also called for residential facilities such as telecommunication, logistics, and public services be improved.

The plan also supported efforts to cultivate and develop distinctive industries that minority areas have a competitive edge in, with a focus on constructing demonstration zones for mineral exploration and processing, as well as food and agricultural products.

Moreover, it urged more promotion of national trade enterprises, traditional handicrafts, traditional medicine, and the Halal food industry.

The plan said more efforts are required to promote a new type of people-centered urbanization that will grant rural people who live in cities more social welfare than offered now to city dwellers.

The State Council also vowed to enhance education in minority areas, enhancing students’ proficiency in Mandarin, while preserving their ethnic languages.

Meanwhile, it called for promoting employment-driven entrepreneurship, and improving the health care system.

The plan also acknowledged the importance of preserving culture, with efforts put in to develop media coverage on ethnic culture industry.

In addition, measures have been proposed to promote environmental protection and pollution control.

Minority areas are also urged to support all-round opening up, participating in the Belt and Road initiative, the construction of an international economic corridor.

The plan hopes the development of ethnic minorities with a small population can be accelerated, focusing on the construction of basic infrastructure.

Villages and towns with distinctive features should be preserved, according to the document.

Related departments should focus on improving laws and regulations in minority areas, and enhancing governance through think tanks, cadre training, and bilingual talent training.

Finance, investment, and related policies should also be put in place to support the economic and social development of minority areas.

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