To some extent, the spreading global financial crisis brings opportunities to China’s less-mentioned central region.
Ding Xuedong, vice head of the Finance Ministry, told the Central China Forum held in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, ‘To speed up development of the central region . . . is significant to a new round of economic growth.’
China’s central region, which encompasses the provinces of Shanxi, Henan, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Anhui, makes up 10% of the country’s size and is home to 28% of its total population.
The financial crisis has not dramatically affected the central region, which focuses more on internal-oriented economy.
In 2008, the combined gross domestic product (GDP) was about RMB6,318.8 billion (about $929 billion U.S. dollars), up 12.2% from 2007. It accounted for 19.3% of China’s total GDP for the same year. In 2006, the combined GDP in the six provinces accounted for 18.7% of the national total.
However, some experts pointed out that the financial crisis is spreading in China from the east to the west.
Chinese ministries are enacting policies to help the central region brace for more severe challenges as the crisis spreads specifically by linking important zones.
According to Lu Dongfu, vice head of the Ministry of Railways, new railways with a total length of 16,000 kilometers are to be built before 2020 to extend the railway network to 34,000 kilometers.
He said, ‘By then, the length of railways in every 10,000 square kilometers of area will grow from 175 kilometers to 331 kilometers, twice of China’s average.’
China Review reported Hunan’s governor Zhou Qiang as saying, ‘Opportunities sometimes lie in calamities. Through cooperation, we are confident to tide over the difficulty and achieve economic revival.’
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