China will invest Yn130bn to start 14 new projects in its western regions during 2003, People's Daily said. The figures were compiled by the office of the leading group for western development under the State Council, which also said that by the end of this year work on 50 key projects in the region involving a total investment of Yn700bn would have started.
Those already underway include the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the west-east gas pipeline, west-east electricity transmission and a series of water conservancy projects. This year's projects cover water facilities, railways, highways, power generation and municipal works. Part of the funds will be used to convert 7.1m hectares of farmland into woodland and 6.7m hectares of overgrazed land into grassland.