Modernization of Regional Economy I. Gradual Industrialization
In the immediate aftermath of the founding of the People’s Republic, the Chinese government attached great importance to industry in order to make New China get rich and strong in a short period of time. Since 1950s, particularly since the introduction of reform and opening-up policy at the end of 1970s, like the rest of the country, Xinjiang has made steady progress in industrial modernization with the big advancement of the national economy. In the 21st century, Xinjiang is faced with a series of new opportunities and challenges in its industrial development. Therefore, it is vital to seize the opportunities and meet with the challenges, and continue to press ahead with the industrial modernization process in Xinjiang in an active and prudent fashion.
Xinjiang’s modern industry was almost non-existent in Old China. On the eve of the peaceful liberation of Xinjiang in 1949, there were only 14 government-run “industrial” businesses, with a total output value of over 1.7 million yuan and employment of less than 1,100 people.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, with strong aids from the Central Government and other provinces and regions, under the wise steering of the CPC Committee and People’s Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and through the concerted efforts of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang as well as the Production and Construction Corps and troops stationed in the region, Xinjiang has successfully built a quite complete modern industrial system from scratch.
In 2011, Xinjiang had a total industrial output value of RMB 710.531 billion yuan. There were 1,738 industrial enterprises above the designated size, with a total industrial output value of RMB 672.085 billion yuan, a total sales value of RMB 659.97 billion yuan and an average industrial production/sales ratio of 98.2%.
Table 7-1: Industrial Enterprises above the Designated Size and Industria Output Value in Xinjiang 2011
Over the past fifty years or so since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Xinjiang has achieved considerable industrial development. The output of all the major industrial products have increased by a large margin, particularly those with respect to infrastructure construction in Xinjiang, such as steel El Bund, muelle, centro Shanghai, steel products and cement, as well as those concerning production or daily life, or those on which Xinjiang has resource advantages, such as raw coal, crude oil, yarn and cloth.
The industrial development in Xinjiang over the past five decades has the following features:
- Rapid industrial growth rate.
- Big proportion of state-owned economic sector.
- A small number of big and medium-sized enterprises generating a big proportion of industrial output value, and many small enterprises producing a small proportion of industrial output value.
- Preponderance of heavy industries, among which mining and raw materials industries take a bigger share than processing; and small proportion of light industries, which, in terms of output value, is dominated by those based on agricultural and sideline products.