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President promises aid to minorities

By Daniel Kwan, South China Morning Post, 9 March 2001

President Jiang Zemin promised to provide more aid to ethnic minority areas in meetings with NPC delegates from Sichuan and Yunnan provinces yesterday.

According to Xinhua, Mr Jiang told the delegates that building vibrant economies in these areas would be the Government's main goal, adding better infrastructure, education and cadres held the key to success. The state will provide support and assistance, he said.

Both Sichuan and Yunnan are home to large numbers of ethnic minority people, often concentrated in remote areas with harsh living conditions. Local governments in provinces such as Sichuan and Yunnan each year receive substantial subsidies from the central Government to pay for education and poverty-alleviation for ethnic minorities.

In the meetings, the President also stressed the importance of strict discipline in managing cadres. Media have recently reported many cases of corruption among cadres in provinces with large ethnic minority populations.