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Gov't boosts Xinjiang's cultural development

The Chinese government has been carrying out assistance programs, injecting funds, and training personnel to promote cultural development in the far western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the past years, Culture Minister Cai Wu said on Monday.

The Ministry of Culture has launched more than 80 projects to strengthen cultural heritage protection, build cultural service facilities, and boost the culture industry in Xinjiang, said Cai at a national audio-video conference.

Central government spending on transfer payments given to Xinjiang to implement major cultural projects reached 519 million yuan (85.18 million U.S. dollars) in the past three years, according to Cai.

Local governments have so far injected funds of 1.12 billion yuan into the initiative, he said.

In March 2010, the Chinese government initiated a "pairing assistance" support program, asking local governments in 19 relatively-prosperous provinces and municipalities to help to promote Xinjiang's development.

Cai called for more efforts to enhance public cultural service facilities and to expand cultural exchanges and cooperation in Xinjiang.

Relevant authorities should conduct research and work out general plans for cultural development in the region, boost growth, enhance conservation of intangible cultural heritage, and cultivate a batch of art performance brands, he said.