Li: People's livelihood top priority
Updated: 2012-05-31 02:38
By Shao Wei in Shanghai and Tong Hao in Beijing (China Daily)
Vice-Premier Li Keqiang urged provinces and municipalities to focus more on projects related to people's livelihood and environmental protection when offering aid to support the development of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The provinces and municipalities should act more efficiently in pushing projects such as housing, employment, medical care and social security in Xinjiang, Li said on Wednesday during the third national work conference on "pairing assistance" projects to support Xinjiang's development.
The latest round of "pairing assistance" projects, first unveiled by the central government in March 2010, involve 19 provinces and municipalities.
He also said it is important to develop infrastructure construction such as traffic and water resources facilities as well as environmental protection projects.
In addition, the provinces and municipalities should strengthen talent support and help the region develop science, education and government officials' skills, Li said.
He affirmed the achievement in supporting Xinjiang's development during the past two years.
In 2011, the region received 128.1 billion yuan ($20.1 billion) of cooperation funds from the 19 provinces and municipalities, an increase of 60 percent year-on-year, according to a China Central Television report on Wednesday.
Li pointed out that China's economy is facing increasing pressures, and thus it is necessary to insist on expanding domestic demand. With a vast area and rich resources, Xinjiang is one of the major "battlefields" to help enlarge domestic demand and to receive industrial transfers from developed regions.
Meanwhile, the expenditures on people's livelihood in Xinjiang took up 74 percent of the local government's general budget in 2011. A total of 80 key projects on improving people's well-being, including low-income housing, a herdsmen relocation and settlement program, and employment projects, were completed at the end of the year, according to a report by xinhuanet.com, a website run by Xinhua News Agency.
In addition, more than 5,600 scientists, technicians, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs and government officials have entered Xinjiang to help local development, according to another report by xinhuanet.com on Wednesday.
Alim Shek, a 19-year-old Xinjiang native who lived as a vagrant in Chengdu, Sichuan province, for almost four years, is now studying cooking skills at a vocational school in Kashgar run by professionals from Shenzhen.
Shek said he is "very satisfied" with his current studies in his hometown and is willing to find a "decent job" after his graduation.
"I've learned the government has paid more attention to our Xinjiang locals. Lots of teachers and experts have come here from the developed cities to help us. I feel confident that I will have a better and happy life," he said.
Cao Suzhen, a gynecologist from a maternity and childcare hospital in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, arrived in Xinjiang's Zhaosu county in December 2010.
"I've been ‘the badly needed person' for local farmers and herdsmen. Sometimes I have five surgeries a day. With our help, the locals now can see doctors easier despite the poor traffic and medical conditions," Cao said.
"The medical conditions have been greatly improved. We trust these doctors like Cao. They have changed our lives," said Shen Yuzhen, a local farmer.