|Senior leaders pledge greater efforts to improve living standards in Xinjiang|
BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Senior Chinese leaders pledged to promote further development in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region while making the improvement of the residents' lives the first priority during the second National Work Conference on "pairing assistance" projects to support Xinjiang development in Beijing, which was held from Friday to Sunday.
Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, who are members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, attended the conference.
The "pairing assistance" projects, first unveiled by the central government at a high-level conference in March 2010, involve 19 provinces and municipalities in support of the development of Xinjiang.
Government departments should make efforts to advance the construction of projects that can promote higher living standards, said Li, who is also vice premier.
Li also called for measures to promote equal access to basic public services in Xinjiang, and he said efforts should be made to foster the region's development capabilities.
Projects to build major infrastructure and promote industries in Xinjiang should be accelerated, and the region's advantages in resources and geography should be taken advantage of in its economic development, he said.
Li added that more favorable policies for the region's development are needed and called for further support in the economy, education, technology and human resources to make the assistance projects more efficient.
Based on what he has observed during his two trips to Xinjiang, Zhou Yongkang said inspiring changes are taking place in the region.
Practice has proven that the CPC Central Committee's decisions regarding the assistance to Xinjiang are correct, he said.
While championing the importance of improving people's welfare, Zhou said efforts would be made to improve people's living conditions, strengthen bilingual education and create more jobs.
Further, Zhou called ethnic unity a "life line" of Xinjiang and underlined the significance of more exchanges between residents in Xinjiang and those from the rest of the country.
Zhou also stressed the necessity of properly tackling conflicts and problems during Xinjiang's development, saying it was important to ensure that both rural and urban residents benefit from local development.
President Hu Jintao also issued instructions to the conference, voicing his appreciation for the achievements made during the past year and calling upon government departments to implement the central government's policies for Xinjiang's development.