As part of its six-year development program established for China's poverty-stricken ethnic minority groups, Beijing said about 630,000 Chinese ethnic minorities will receive employment training and "huge" cash aid, state media reported. The aid, established by the State Council last week, targets 22 minority groups in 10 provinces and regions including Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Heilongjiang, Yunnan and Xinjiang. Between 2002 and 2004, Beijing allocated US$14m to develop local infrastructure and education and health programs in these regions, and the investment in the next five years will be "much more than this figure", according to an official with the Economic Department of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.
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