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Northwest saw development across the board for 2012, report finds

| 2013-03-18 | Hits:
  On January 8th, the academies of social sciences in Gansu, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinjiang jointly released the Blue Book of Northwest: Annual Report on Development of Northwest China in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu. This installment of the blue book series from Social Sciences Academic Press is the product of inter-regional research into the economic, social and cultural development of Northwest China in 2012. It also provides projections of how these areas will continue to grow in 2013. According to the report, notable achievements have been made in improving people's livelihood in Northwest China. Progress has been made in facilitating equal access to basic public services and social security and improving the employment and labor situation in both urban and rural areas. Working and living conditions have improved and income has seen increasing growth: all of the five provinces and regions have met the national poverty alleviation standard of rural per capital net income of 2,300 yuan. Shaanxi has seen a year-on-year economic growth of 13%; Gansu, 13.6%; Ningxia, 11.4%; Qinghai, 12.3% and Xinjiang, 10.7%. While household income continued to increase in the northwest for the first half of 2012, it is still lower than the national average. In poverty-stricken areas, the problem of food and clothing has reached the initial stages of resolution. The average income for people living below the poverty line has been increasing, while the number of the unprivileged has seen a sharp decrease. Most pointedly, the impoverishment rate in the rural areas of Shaanxi has decreased from 30% to 9%, while it decreased from 37% to 14.8% in Gansu. At the same time, the blue book says that the Northwest China is still the weak point for coordinated regional development and the building of a moderately prosperous society. The economy of the Northwest is still small—well below the national average. Problems in development, people’s livelihood and the ethnic tension still exist. The economy is held back by inefficiency and structural irrationality, preventing it from meeting the demands of the larger societal economic growth pattern. Since strategic priority is being given to the large-scale development of the Northwest, the report emphasized that this is an essential opportunity for the region to develop under the benefit of national policy support, whereby it could establish its own capability for self-development. The Blue Books of Gansu 2013 were released by the Gansu Academy of Social Sciences on the same day. The series includes five books: Analysis and Forecast on Economic Development of Gansu (2013), Analysis and Forecast on Social Development of Gansu (2013), Analysis and Forecast on Public Opinion of Gansu (2013), Annual Report on County Social Development of Gansu (2013) and Analysis and Forecast on Cultural Development of Gansu (2013). According to the series, viewed from a quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy of Gansu will likely see growth in the latter quarters and will be sound for the whole of 2013. At the same time, Gansu is still faced with several challenges:ecological deterioration is still severe, inadequate employment opportunities create pressure, and the uneven distribution of social security has become a point of conflict. Additionally, the potential for development in rural areas is still not sufficient; access to basic public services is still uneven; and social risk management has yet to be strengthened. Lastly, the gap in household income between Gansu and other provinces is widening in both urban and rural areas, while poverty is still rampant in ethnic minority areas. Zhu Yi is a a reporter from Chinese Social Sciences Today. The Chinese version appeared in Chinese Social Sciences Today, No. 403, Jan 11.  Translated by Jiang Hong Chinese link:http://www.csstoday.net/Item/42588.aspx