From People’s Daily Online:
On January 16, 2000, the State Council set up a task force to implement its strategic resolution on developing China’s west. Since then, the central government reiterated its commitment to the strategy for several times. Amazing changes have taken place in the land covering 6.85 million square kilometers with a pollution of about 372 million by the end of 2004 and 2.57 trillion yuan GDP for 2004.
In the past five years, the central government has injected more than 960 billion yuan to boost the development of the region. Fixed asset investment grew about 20 percent annually and is expected to continue the momentum. The regional economy moved forward at a pace of 8.5 percent, 8.8 percent , 10 percent and 11.3 percent respectively from 2000 to 2003. It is most likely that the speed in 2004 is faster.