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October 19, 2009

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Wen sees rosier times ahead for Gansu industry

PREMIER Wen Jiabao has urged China's once-impoverished northwestern Gansu Province to continue developing industries with local features while ensuring the safety of the ecology.

Wen said during his two-day inspection tour of the province which ended yesterday that local companies should take advantage of valuable resources, such as medicinal herbs and mining, and use technology to improve energy efficiency and sustainable use of resources.

When visiting Dingxi City of in east Gansu, Wen said the place had become better every time he visited and there were good prospects for farmers.

"It is still the most deprived place in the country as many farmers make less than 1,200 yuan (US$176) a year," he said.

However, Wen said: "The roads are better, children have no problem going to school, medical insurance is there and we will work on the old-age insurance scheme.

"We also have a project that will hopefully solve the problem of water shortage."

He urged the Lanzhou Chemical Company of the China National Petroleum Corp, the largest oil refinery in China's west, to reduce energy consumption, achieve technological breakthroughs, replace backward production facilities and strictly limit excess capacity.

Wen also voiced his concerns over the ecological challenges in Gansu.

He said the biggest challenges were water shortage and desertification, which required greater efforts in sustainable use of surface and underground water and control of sand.

Wen urged authorities to take steps to protect the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.


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