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China Voice: All ethnic groups are equal toward prosperous society

(Xinhua)    16:58, January 23, 2015

BEIJING, Jan. 23-- People of all the 56 ethnic groups in China are entitled to the fruits of economic and social development.

The ethnic groups, however small in size, are integral parts in the pursuit of a moderately prosperous society.

Development for ethnic minorities is decisive to the goals of the nation as areas where people of ethnic minorities are concentrated account for 64 percent of the country's total land territory.

Population of Chinese ethnic areas, which consist of eight provincial-level regions, including Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province, is more than 183 million.

Giving high importance to ethnic areas, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Yunnan, where more than 15 million people, or one third of its population, identify as being members of ethnic minorities, in his first domestic inspection tour outside Beijing this year.

In the three-day inspection tour that wrapped up Wednesday, Xi also met with members of Drung ethnic group, which is one of China's smallest ethnic minorities with an estimated population of 6,900.

Xi said during the meeting that no ethnic group will be left behind in the drive to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020.

The blueprint was mapped out in November 2012, when Chinese government vowed to double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents by 2020.

In 2010, per capita disposable income of urban residents was put at 19,109 yuan (3,049.7 U.S. dollars), while the per capita income for rural residents was 5,919 yuan. That year, the nation's GDP reached 40.15 trillion yuan.

Though better developed eastern provinces might not find those goals hard, for ethnic areas like Yunnan, the tasks are daunting.

In recent decades, the lives of the Drung ethnic group have greatly improved with annual per capita disposable income now surpassing 2,000 yuan as the local economy grows.

Considering the national average of disposable income in 2014, which stood at 20,167 yuan, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

The Drung's situation is typical of the bigger picture. Official statistics showed China's ethnic regions had a combined GDP of 6.45 trillion yuan in 2013, up 10.7 percent year on year. However, their per capita GDP is only 78 percent of the national average.

Therefore, it is both urgent and vital for the government to expedite the economic and social development in ethnic regions by continuing its support in infrastructure, education, and environmental protection.

Meanwhile, the people of ethnic minorities must make full use of local resources in order to realize development goals as soon as possible, because many of the ethnic regions are rich in natural and tourist resources.

In a nutshell, it is of every ethnic group's business to work out better lives.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wang Ao,Yao Chun)

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