On the afternoon of Dec 16, a press conference for the achievements of Sichuan province on the 10th anniversary of Western Development Campaign was held in Chengdu. Wei Hong, member of the CPC Provincial Standing Committee and executive vice-governor, attended the conference to announce the achievements of Sichuan province during the 10 years of implementing the Western Development Campaign. Xue Kang, the provincial deputy secretary-general, Hong Xiongfei, the vice minister of Provincial Party Committee Propaganda Department, and the major officials from Provincial Development and Reform Commission, Provincial Economic Commission, Provincial Communications Department, Provincial Department of Forestry and Provincial Leading Group Office of the Implementation of the Western Development Campaign attended the press conference.
Wei Hong said that during the past 10 years, Sichuan has firmly seized this great historical opportunity of the Western Development Campaign, focusing on the "five jobs" of infrastructure construction, ecological conservation, structural adjustment, science and education based prosperity of Sichuan, the reform and opening up to the outside world, so as to build Sichuan into a strong province of economy in the West and an ecological shield on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, and to promote the gigantic development of economy and society in the province. Especially in the last two years, we have fought against the most severe earthquake in history and the international financial crisis, and have taken steps in accelerating the construction of a new home after the disaster and the construction of an economic development highland in the West .
Wei Hong introduced the achievements in economic and social development of the province from five aspects including infrastructure construction, ecological environment protection, characteristic and advantageous industries, science and education based prosperity of Sichuan, and the reform and opening up to the outside world. During the past 10 years, the GDP of the province has increased from 392.8 billion yuan in 2000 to 1.2506 trillion yuan in 2008, with an average annual increase of 11.6 percent. Local Government Budgetary Revenue has increased from 23.4 billion yuan in 2000 to 104.2 billion yuan in 2008, with an average annual increase of 20.5 percent. Tertiary Structures of the Industries have adjusted from 24.1: 36.5: 39.4 in 2000 to 18.9: 46.3: 34.8 in 2008, with a gradual optimization of industrial structure. The income of the urban and rural residents has increased steadily; the per capita disposable income of urban residents reaches 12,633 yuan and per capita income of peasants reaches 4121 yuan, with an average annual increase of 9.7 percent and 9.4 percent respectively. Fixed Assets Investments of our province have increased from 140.4 billion yuan in 2000 to 760.2 billion yuan in 2008, with an average annual increase of 23.5 percent.
Wei Hong said that CPC Sichuan provincial committee and the provincial government attached great importance to the people's livelihood and regarded the ensurance and improvement of people's livelihood as the most important task. Since the implementation of the Western Development Campaign, more than 100.3 billion yuan of various types of anti-poverty funds have been invested across the province, securing adequate food and clothing for 1.425 million poverty-stricken population. The incidence of absolute poverty in the rural area falls to be under 3.1 percent, and the quality of life for 5.295 million low-income population has been improved. Especially after the Wenchuan earthquake, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, with the strong support from other provinces and all our fellow compatriot, the whole province has struggled persistently and arduously, winning a great victory in the earthquake relief. So far, the province has started totally 27, 113 restoration and reconstruction projects that were brought into national planning, accounting for 91.3 percent of the reconstruction task, 64.6 % of which have been completed, with a total of 553.17 billion yuan accumulative investment completed.
At the closing of the conference, Wei Hong said that fact has proved that the implementation of the Western Development Campaign goes with the tides of development and conforms to the general law of development, and therefore is vital to the overall strategy. CPC Sichuan provincial committee and the provincial government will conscientiously implement the strategic plan of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and will stand on the new historical starting line to further the implementation of the Western Development Campaign so as to open up a new chapter in the reform and development of Sichuan.