Pouring money on troubled waters underpins much of the Party’s approach to ensuring political stability through economic development. Xinjiang is the latest case in point. State investment in the far western province whose capital Urumqi saw deadly rioting between ethnic Uighurs and Han Chinese last July is to be doubled over the next five years with the goal of raising provincial per capita GDP to the national average by 2015. Rural per capita incomes in Xinjiang are a fifth lower than in the country as a whole and urban ones two-fifths lower.
Much of the money, which could amount to 2 trillion yuan ($300 million) over the five years, will go into infrastructure such as roads and railways. Details from Xinhua. The natural-resources-rich province will also test taxing resources including oil and gas through a price-based rather than volume-based levy. The change could raise an additional 10 billion yuan a year of tax revenue for Xinjiang.
How the greater wealth all this will create trickles down is the question. In other areas of China’s periphery forced economic development has not necessarily gone in hand in hand with social harmony.
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