The economic growth in western China is accelerating and income of people is rising. In 2000-2004, the GDP in the region averaged an annual growth of 10.2%, narrowing the gap with the national average. The fixed assets investment in the region averaged an annual growth of 20%, far higher than the 7.4% before the development drive was launched. The per capita disposable income of urban residents increased by more than 2000 Yuan as compared with 1999 and that of rural dwellers increased by more than 400 Yuan.
A number of key state and other major projects have been going on smoothly and the infrastructure and ecology in the region have improved in the region, with a total investment of nearly 1000 billion Yuan. The west-to-east natural gas transmission project has been completed and put into commercial operation. The “West-to-eat power transmission” project has delivered 10 million kW of electricity to Guangdong. The Qinghai-Tibet railway has been completed. More than 19.2 million hectares of cropland formerly reclaimed from forests have been returned and more than 19.3 million hectares of degenerated grassland have been brought under control. A number of other major projects have been unfolded, including water conservancy projects on the upper reaches of rivers, state highways, natural forest protection, sandstorm control, prevention and control of water pollution on the upper reaches of rivers, and air pollution control in central cities of the region. Many projects have been put into operation, beginning to yield economic, social and ecological results.
Greater efforts have been made in improving the infrastructure and social undertakings in the rural areas and the living and production conditions of farmers have been improved. Over the past five years, the region has built 17000 km of roads in poor counties and 26000 km of tarmac roads leading to county towns and 46000 km of inter-county roads are proceeding smoothly. With 969 more townships having the access to the use of electricity, all the townships are now using electricity. The clean water projects have solved the problem of drinkable water for both man and animal. A number of large irrigation areas have been built, together with matching projects and water-efficient irrigation demonstrative projects, boosting the new water saving capacity by 4.6 billion cubic meters. Biogas pits have been built for about one million rural households. The more than 1.02 million people who used to live in ecologically fragile and unlivable areas have been resettled.