On Sunday, the CCP Central Committee and the State Council released a document to guide the development of China’s western regions for the next 15 years.
Some context: The emphasis on western regional development first started in 2000 under then-Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice Premier Wen Jiabao. The designation encompasses Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Tibet, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Guangxi.
By 2035, the western regions need to be basically on par with China’s prosperous east in terms of:
- Socialist modernization
- Basic public services
- Infrastructure development
- Living standards
Part of the solution is to leverage foreign investment, by:
- Facilitating land use for foreign-invested projects
- Opening up the agricultural industry to foreign investment
- Ensuring equal market access for foreign investors
- Expanding the encouraged industry list for foreign investment
Concrete support measures are already happening.
- On April 23, a preferential tax policy to encourage investment in the western regions, scheduled to end this year, was extended for another 10 years
- Under the policy, eligible companies (both foreign and domestic) investing in encouraged industries in the western regions enjoy a corporate tax rate of 15%, instead of the normal 25%.
Get smart: The government has been trying to develop the west for two decades, but success has been lackluster. It's not clear this new push will be any different.
Gov.cn: 中共中央 国务院关于新时代推进西部大开发形成新格局的指导意见