BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- China plans to make industrial restructuring of the country's western parts more innovation and science-driven over the next seven years, according to a government action plan released on Wednesday.
The plan, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), says more investment and policy support will be channeled to basic research and major scientific and technological projects in 12 provincial-level regions from 2013 to 2020.
China launched a "go west" strategy in 2000 to boost economic development of the 12 provincial-level regions. Under the strategy, the western regions enjoy support in infrastructure construction, foreign investment, ecological protection, education and talent retention.
Despite progress, the level of those regions' overall development lags behind other areas and "the need to speed up industrial restructuring [in those regions] is pressing," the plan reads.
The NDRC, China's top economic planner, and the CAS said in the plan that they will enhance investment and increase policy support to the western part of the country, which occupies more than 70 percent of the nation's land area.
Support will be channeled towards basic research, the commercialization of research findings, and the building of regional networks of innovative projects and industries.
The NDRC and the CAS also pledged to focus their support on ecological construction and protection technologies, environmental protection projects, promotion of the clean use of coal, and the use of energy and mine resources.
Other sectors that will benefit from the action plan include advanced equipment manufacturing, biological resources use, husbandry and logistics.
Under the action plan, inhabitants in remote areas of west China will have access to advanced and low-cost medical services. Ethnic minorities will be assisted by information technology in education, social management and teachers' training.
The 12 provincial-level regions covered in the "go west" strategy are Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi and Qinghai.