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The State Council Leading Group for Western China Development

The importance accorded to the development of China’s western provinces is reflected in the establishment in January 2000 of the State Council Leading Group for Western China Development, headed originally by Premier Zhu Rongji and today by his successor Wen Jiabao. Membership of the Leading Group is composed of ministers from no less than 26 different ministries, including the Ministries of Finance, Land and Resources, Railways, Transport, Construction and Commerce. Such heavyweight support was considered necessary to combat years of dysfunctional policy-making, corruption and resource misallocation in previous attempts to develop western areas.

The day-to-day activities of the Leading Group are managed by the Office of the Leading Group for Western Region Development of the State Council, established as a subsidiary of the National Development and Reform Commission and headed by Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan, formerly head of the State Development and Planning Commission. The Office consists of four departments (Comprehensive Planning, Economic and Social, Human Resources and Agriculture, Forestry and Biology). Subsidiary development offices have been established in individual provinces or autonomous regions in central and western China and also in several eastern provinces.

The Office has three main functions:

  • studying and recommending strategies, development plans, major issues and policies, laws and regulations for developing the western region;
  • studying and recommending proposals on rural economic development, large infrastructure construction projects (in particular relating to transportation) and environmental protection (especially for water conservation and afforestation projects);
  • studying and recommending policies for attracting domestic and foreign investment, technology and talent. The 12 designated western provinces are able to offer concessionary tax and investment policies to western investors as a result of policies formulated by the Leading Group pursuant to this goal.

Office of the Leading Group for Western Region Development of the State Council
38 Yuetan S. Avenue
Xicheng district
Beijing 100824
Website (Chinese version): http://www.chinawest.gov.cn

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