China Western Development

China Western Development

China Western Development

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China Western Development (), also China's Western Development, Western China Development, Great Western Development Strategy, or the Open Up the West Program is a policy adopted by the People's Republic of China to boost its less developed western regions.

The policy covers 6 provinces (Gansu, Guizhou, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Yunnan), 5 autonomous regions (Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Tibet, and Xinjiang), and 1 municipality (Chongqing). This region contains 71.4% of mainland China's area, but only 28.8% of its population, as of the end of 2002, and 19.9% of its total economic output, as of 2009.

Basically it contains those parts of China which have never been part of Han Chinese empires but have been largely independent until they were conquered by the Manchu Qing Empire and then reconquered after the formation of People's Republic of China after 1949.


Under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, the People's Republic of China began to reform its economy in 1978 by changing from a command economy to a market economy. The coastal regions of eastern China benefited greatly from these reforms, and their economies quickly raced ahead. The western half of China, however, lagged behind severely. In order to help the western half of China catch up with the eastern half, a Leadership Group for Western China Development (西部地区开发领导小组) was created by the State Council in January 2000, led by then-Premier Zhu Rongji.

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