|Senior leader underlines infrastructure building in Xinjiang|
BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Senior Chinese leader Zhou Yongkang on Thursday demanded infrastructure be improved in the western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region through projects supported by central government.
Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, urged authorities to give more support to the construction of major projects in the region, including irrigation systems, reservoirs, railways, electricity and natural gas schemes.
Antiquated public facilities had created a major bottleneck constraining the region's development, Zhou said at a meeting attended by representatives from the National Development and Reform Commission, the central bank, and ministries of finance, railways, and water resources.
These departments and a group of large state-owned enterprises and commercial banks have been tasked to assist the projects.
Zhou called for more financial support and administrative coordination to push forward these projects, which he said will help enhance the region's capability of self-initiated development, ensure sound economic and social development, and create more jobs.
The projects should benefit Xinjiang by improving people's livelihoods,promoting ethnic solidarity and maintaining social stability, according to Zhou.
He also demanded efforts to avoid illegal land use, prevent excessive exploitation of resources and protect the environment in Xinjiang.