By Tian Baicheng
UST AS CHINA is negotiating with some countries on joining the World Trade Organization, the government made the decision of speeding up development of middle and western area of China. This is regarded as new milestone of China's strategy of reforming internal structures and opening to out side.
Historically, the western region of China is backward to her eastern part in both economy and culture, and moreover, this gap was enlarged in past 20 years. The eastern area of China, especially some coastal cities, such as Dalian, Tianjin, Yantai, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Guangzhou, with superior geographical situation to outside and beneficial policies, developed rapidly and eventually became comparatively developed area.
This situation was observed by center government in recent years and how to develop the western region was mentioned frequently. From 1996, President Jiangzemin talked about the matter on a series important meeting of Communist Party Center Committee and Premier Zhurongji also stressed several times on the meetings of State Council that the condition of developing the western area has been ripe, we must quicken the spaces and liberate the minds. With this background, at the very beginning of 2000, developing the western area became one of the core content of the National Tenth Five Years Economic Development Plan, which will be discussed and approved on People's Congress.
Having got almost 20 years experiences of developing eastern region, the government will make the policies sensibly so as to enable the western area go ahead with greater and stable steps. As western area is rich in resources and has large territories with comparatively a small quantity of population, the follow four points will be emphasized:
A. the environment protection must be observed firstly;
B. the national capitals will be concentrated in key projects;
C. the infrastructure construction will get priority position;
D. the cities and towns will be developed with long-term planning.
It goes without saying, the foreign funds are welcome and encouraged. With past 20 years experiences on reforming the internal structures and opening to outside, China has promulgated a series of laws and regulations in regulating foreign funds. Currently, there are three kinds of styles for foreign investors, which are joint venture, sino-foreign co-operation and single foreign fund. Accordingly there are the laws of Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, Chinese-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures and Foreign Capital Enterprises. Besides, there are many relevant regulations issued by National Foreign Exchange Bureau, National Tax Bureau and National Industrial and Commercial Bureau to coordinate fulfilling the laws.
Moreover, the law makers of People's Congress are considering to adopt special laws and regulations so as to speed up the developing of the West Region. It is said that the successful experiences of foreign countries, such as the Unites States in developing the west area and Brazil in developing the internal area, will be absorbed. The National Tax Bureau has issued regulation , by which the joint ventures established at western region will be imposed income tax at the rate of 15% after current tax-free period expire, to which the normal tax rate is 30%. Moreover, the government is considering/discussing to simplify administrative formalities so that to attract more investors from both domestic and foreign countries.
In consideration of that, the west region of China is probably the last large virgin soil for the investors, sure it will attract more and more "adventurers" from both domestic and abroad.
Web Law Review, Spring 2000
Text and Photo ©
2000, Tian Baicheng
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