Development is an important foundation for lasting peace and stability in Xinjiang, said Chinese President Xi Jinping at the third central symposium on work related to Xinjiang last month.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, lauded the unprecedented achievements made by Xinjiang in economic and social development, as well as livelihood improvement, noting that people of all ethnic groups in the autonomous region have gained a stronger sense of achievement, contentment and security. He also stressed to promote high-quality development for livelihood.
Since the second central symposium on work related to Xinjiang in 2014, Xinjiang’s GDP has grown from 919.59 billion yuan ($135.42 billion) to nearly 1.36 trillion yuan, and its per capita disposable income also expanded at an average rate of 9.1 percent each year. The incidence of poverty dropped from 19.4 percent to 1.24 percent, and the central government’s transfer payments to Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps increased from 263.69 billion yuan to 422.48 billion yuan. A total of 96.4 billion yuan has been offered by 19 provinces and municipalities to aid the autonomous region’s development, and over 10,000 aiding projects have been launched. Xinjiang has brought over 1.68 trillion yuan of investment from enterprises in these provinces and municipalities rendering support to it, and central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have invested more than 700 billion yuan in it. These figures demonstrate the solid development steps of Xinjiang in the new era, as well as a new blueprint in which people from all ethnic groups seek prosperity and share a great life.
The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period marks the first five years for China to embark on a journey to fully build itself into a modern socialist country after building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. During this period, the country is expected to enter a new development phase, and accelerat the establishment of a “dual circulation” development pattern in which domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement.
The autonomous region must leverage the its geographical advantages to develop itself as a core area of the Silk Road Economic Belt and a hub of opening-up in the inland and border areas. It must advance industrial transformation and upgrading and foster featured industries to increase the income of local people. Besides, it must boost urbanization in an all-round way while protecting the environment.
Stressing the need to coordinate epidemic containment with economic and social development, Xi called for ensuring stability on six fronts — employment, the financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment, and expectations — while maintaining security in six areas: job security, basic living needs, operations of market entities, food and energy, stable industrial and supply chains. He also called for unremitting efforts to eradicate poverty and promote employment in Xinjiang.
The mechanism for assistance and preventing a return of poverty shall be improved while keeping advancing the alignment between poverty alleviation and rural revitalization. Endogenous development drivers and vitality must be enhanced as a priority to ensure sustainable development for the people lifted out of poverty. In addition, policy support must be strengthened and mechanisms innovated to combine the creation of local jobs and the transfer and export of laborers.
Since the second central symposium on work related to Xinjiang, four prefectures and cities in southern Xinjiang have lifted over 2.5 million people, 2,683 impoverished villagers, and 16 poverty-stricken counties out of poverty. The incidence of poverty has plunged to 2.21 percent from 29.1 percent. The social and economic development in southern Xinjiang is expected to be further enhanced.
To bring a better life to the people is the starting point and footing of all work of CPC. By applying a new vision of development, promoting high-quality development of Xinjiang, and using the development dividend to improve livelihood, bring welfare to local people, and enhance unity, Xinjiang will surely embrace a better future.