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Chinese vice premier underscores western region development

BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for efforts to promote development in the country's western regions while transforming the economic growth pattern.

Li made the remarks during his visit to southwestern Yunnan Province from May 31 to June 2, where he met villagers, entrepreneurs and local officials.

He said the western regions must seize the opportunity of economic structural adjustment at home and abroad, innovate in development, and promote sound and fast economic and social development while accelerating transformation of the economic growth pattern.

The western regions should exert their comparative advantages in resources to encourage industrial upgrading and boost economic development with local characteristics, Li said.

He said the western regions should further open up to the outside world and adapt to the trend of industrial transfer.

Great importance should be attached to guarantee people's basic livelihoods, and help meet people's needs in education, employment, health care, housing and the environment, he said.

Li also stressed efforts to promote technology progress, social harmony, poverty alleviation and drought control.

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