July 7 (New York Times): China said it will spend over $100 bln to build railroads, coal mines, airports and power grids, among other infrastructure projects in its far west including Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces.
Far western China has become a prime development site, thanks to rich deposits of natural gas and other crucial resources. In weekend remarks at a conference here, President Hu Jintao said western China should become the bedrock of China’s energy programs, given its strategic reserves of oil and gas.
Past investment in these areas has had no measurable effect on ethnic unrest, and some critics say the vast majority of the wealth has gone to China’s ethnic Han majority, which has moved into the areas to take advantage of the programs. Critics charge that the development programs are in fact a state plan to dilute ethnic majorities in Xinjiang and Tibet by giving Han Chinese citizens incentives to move into the areas.
Full story: http://nyti.ms/dCX09A