The central government announced it intends to set up a special department devoted to revitalizing the struggling economy in Northeast China.
The temporary department would be similar to ones set up to oversee the Three Gorges project, the western development program and the south-north water diversion project and is likely to be headed by Premier Wen Jiabao.
The three Northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Jilin played a vital role in the country's industrial development from the 1950s to the early 1970s but the proportion of the region's industrial output value to the national total has dropped to 9 percent from 17 percent since the country moved towards a market economy two decades ago.
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