China Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps

- Information Office of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps

(June 2014)

Established in 1954 and distributed within Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (hereinafter referred to as Corps), as a part of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, undertakes the responsibility granted by the country to open up wasteland and garrison the frontiers, and in the form of integrating the Party, government, army and enterprises, autonomously governs its internal administrative and juridical affairs within its managed areas pursuant to laws and regulations in China and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is a special social organization specially designated in the state plan.

From the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-25 AD), all the dynasties in Chinese history adopted the practice of stationing troops to cultivate and guard frontier areas as an important state policy for developing border areas and consolidating frontier defense. In 1949, Xinjiang was peacefully liberated. To consolidate border defense, accelerate Xinjiang’s development, and reduce the economic burden on local governments and the local people of all ethnic groups, the People’s Liberation Army units stationed in Xinjiang focused their efforts on production and construction, starting large-scale production and construction projects. On October 7, 1954, the Central People’s Government ordered most of the PLA officers and soldiers in Xinjiang to be transferred to local civilian work by the unit, and be separated from the setups of national defense forces to form a production and construction corps, whose missions were to carry out both production and militia duties, and cultivate and guard border areas. This marked a new beginning of the undertaking of cultivating and guarding frontier areas in Xinjiang.    

Since its founding, the Corps has taken it upon itself to reclaim land, guard the border areas and work for the well-being of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Following the principle of “not competing for benefits with the local people,” the Corps built water conservancy works and reclaimed wasteland along the edges of the Taklimakan and Gurbantünggüt deserts to the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains, respectively, and along the borders where the natural environment was adverse. Now they have built up ecologically sound economic areas of oases, with contiguous fertile fields, crisscrossing canals, ubiquitous forest belts and radiating roads. Starting by processing agricultural and sideline products on the base of developing agriculture, the Corps developed modern industry and gradually formed a multi-sector industrial system with light and textile industries as the main part and supplemented by iron and steel, coal, building materials, electricity, chemicals and machinery industries. With these projects in full swing, the Corps saw its education, science and technology, culture and other undertakings followed suit. The Corps was dissolved in 1975, but in December 1981 the Central People’s Government decided to revive it. The undertakings of the Corps entered a new era of development. The mass soldiers of the Corps built forest belts and sand breaks, vigorously ran industrial enterprises, brought into existence a number of new towns and rigged up green barriers, creating favorable ecological environment for the economic and social development of Xinjiang and for the local people to live and work in peace and contentment.

In the past 60 years, cadres and workers of the Corps have carried forward the spirit of “loving the motherland, making selfless contributions, working diligently and forging ahead as pioneers”, always keeping their mission in mind and performing their duties in an exemplary way. They have taken root along the edges of deserts and frontiers in Xinjiang to set up the large-scale mechanized agriculture that is leading the region’s strong development of the farming sector. They ran the first batch of industrial, traffic, construction and commercial enterprises in Xinjiang, laying the modern industrial foundation of Xinjiang; they actively promoted and quickened the urbanization process; and they vigorously developed the science and technology, education, culture, health and other social undertakings, promoting the improvement in the cultural level and quality of life of the people of various ethnic groups in Xinjiang. They have given full play to the role of production, working and fighting teams, creating an effective form whereby the Central Government aids the local government, the hinterland supports the frontier area and brotherly ethnic groups help each other. They have played the role of a construction army promoting reform and development and social progress, assuming the role of mainstay in enhancing national solidarity and ensuring social stability, and the role of impregnable fortress in consolidating the northwestern frontier defenses of China and safeguarding national unification. At present, the Corps involves 2.68 million people, with 14 divisions, seven cities, 175 regiments and over 2,000 companies. It exercises jurisdiction over an area of some 80,000 square km and nearly 1.3333 million hectares of arable land. The Corps has formed a comprehensive economic system, along with\ sound public security organs and social undertakings such as science and research, education, culture, health, sport, finance and insurance: there are now about 4,000 industrial, transportation, construction and commercial enterprises and 14 listed companies; five economic development areas at the national level and 24 zones at the autonomous region and Corps levels; 15 national-level and 65 Corps-level leading enterprises in terms of agricultural industrialization; seven regular institutions of higher education and institutions of higher education for adults and 556 vocational, technical, high and primary schools and kindergartens; 197 radio and television broadcast stations and 35 newspaper and magazine agencies; 1,349 health organizations and 18 institutions of scientific research and technological development.

Since the Central Government’s Symposium on the Work of Xinjiang was held, the Corps has seriously carried out the arrangements made, and, under the guidance of Scientific Outlook on Development, closely combines the spirit of the Central Government with actual local conditions and the Corps’ mission, providing a unique system of thought covering all work. That is to promote the great-leap-forward development and lasting stability and durable peace by bringing into play the “three major functions” of the Corps—construction army, mainstay and impregnable fortress, solve the contradictions in development by concentrating on dealing with the “three major relationships”, i.e. the one between the work of opening up wasteland and the task of garrisoning the frontiers, the one between the special management system and market mechanism and the one between the Corps and the local government, transform the way of development through building urbanization, new-type industrialization and agricultural modernization, improve the people’s livelihood with emphases on "ten concrete matters”, strengthen the function of maintaining the stability and garrisoning the frontiers through increasing the gross, improving the quality and enhancing the ability, and rally the staff and the masses under the banner of carrying forward the spirit of the Corps. The Corps is now being transformed from a focus on agriculture to pushing forward simultaneously with urbanization as the carrier, new-type industrialization as the support and agricultural modernization as the base, as well as the coordinated development of the three major industries, from a fairly closed oasis economy to an open market economy, and from a traditional and rural lifestyle to a modern and civilized urban one. Meanwhile, the 10 provinces and cities providing counterpart support for Xinjiang not only aid it in various aspects such as talent training, science and technology, education and health care, but are also constantly expanding the space, enriching the form and deepening the connotation, so as to obtain new achievements in innovation for the region’s industrial wellbeing. As a result, the Corps is now enjoying sustained, rapid and healthy economic and social development. In 2013, it achieved a GDP of 148 billion Yuan, registering an increase of 18 percent from the year before and maintaining a growth rate of over 16 percent for four straight years. Fixed asset investment totaled 150 billion Yuan, an increase of 44.3 percent, and maintaining the growth rate of over 40 percent for four consecutive years. The total retail sale of consumer goods reached 38 billion Yuan, up 21 percent; the per-capita disposable income of urban residents averaged 23,200 Yuan, a rise of 18 percent; and the per-capita net income of the farmers’ and herders’ families reached 14,300 Yuan, an increase of 18 percent. The urbanization rate reached 62 percent.

The Corps continued to open wider to the outside world and vigorously implemented the measures of attracting merchants and investment. A large number of famous domestic and foreign enterprises have entered to invest and run enterprises. The efforts made have ensured that the cooperation fields are being expanded and the industrial structure of the Corps further optimized, elevating the economic development level and instilling more vigor and momentum. Thus, the Corps has entered its best period, enjoying the remarkably enhanced ability in maintaining stability and garrisoning the frontiers, sustained, rapid and healthy economic and social development and improved production and living conditions for all.

Under the new situation of building a well-off society in an all-round way and realizing the Chinese dream, the Corps will work in accordance with the requirements of the Central Government and the expectations of the people of all ethnic groups to better bring into play its special important role of safeguarding the unification of the motherland and the national solidarity and maintaining stability of Xinjiang so as to really become a stabilizing force in guarding the frontier areas, a melting pot of rallying the people of various ethnic groups and a demonstration zone of advanced productivity and culture. The Party committee of the Corps has established the following objectives, doubling the GDP and per-capita income levels of 2010 by 2015; taking the lead in building a well-off society in an all-round way in northwest China by 2018; quadrupling the GDP and per-capita income levels of 2010 by 2020; and increasing the proportion of the economic aggregate of the Corps in the autonomous region total to at least 20 percent, with a view to making even greater contributions to social stability, durable peace, economic and social development and improvement of the people’s livelihood in Xinjiang.

Construction of Urbanization

The Corps has been integrated with the society of Xinjiang and boasts the highly centralized and unified organization and the role of a carrier with a stable population. Making the most of this advantage, it has made overall arrangement for the industrial layout, distribution of population, scope of land use and distribution of towns, energetically pushed forward the urbanization process and gradually formed a pattern of regional development consistent with the carrying capacity of resources and environment and harmonious and mutually promotive with the local development. The pattern of regional development also has clear orientation of the main function and gives consideration to the strategic need of maintaining the stability and garrisoning the frontiers.

There is a thought that divisions and regiments build up cities and towns respectively in accordance with the overall planning and step-by-step implementation. Under such a thought, the Corps promotes population, industries and public resources to rally in the cities and towns to strengthen their functions in public services and inhabitation. The cities and towns are expected to be important carriers and platforms for gathering population and industries, enriching the connotation of opening up wasteland and garrisoning frontiers, carrying forward the army-reclamation culture and transforming the life style of the staff and mass people. Constant efforts have been made to explore and improve the system of integrating the division and the city, the regiment and the town, and the company and the community, make existing cities excellent and strong, promote the emergence of new cities, lay stress on the development of small towns by regiments, make innovation in the mode of the Corps and local governments in jointly building urban areas and form a system of towns  cooperating in the division of work and having the characteristics of the Corps. Much work has been done to promote the harmonious development of industries and the city, integrate resources, improve services, encourage projects, funds, technologies and labor to gather in the towns and development areas and develop agricultural industrialization and the creation of tourism and ecological agriculture, large-scale breeding and creation of a life service industry that can offer increased jobs and promote the vitality of towns. So far, seven cities, including Alar, Tiemenguan, Tumshuq, Wujiaqu, Shihezi, Beitun and Shuanghe, and a number of small towns under the regiments have been built, with the urbanization rate rising to 62 percent.  

Cities under the Jurisdiction of the Corps

After Shihezi City, site of the office of the Eighth Division of the Corps, was established in 1976, Wujiaqu City (Sixth Division), Alar City (First Division) and Tumshuq City (Third Division) were established successively. Beitun City (Tenth Division), Tiemenguan City (Second Division) and Shuanghe City (Fifth Division) were established in 2011, 2012 and 2014 respectively. At present, there are all together seven cities under the jurisdiction of the Corps.

Alar City

Alar City of the First Division of the Corps is located on the Oasis Alluvial Plain where the headstreams of Tarim River, i.e. Aksu River, Hotan River and Yarkant River meet. With a total population of 174,000, it exercises jurisdiction over three urban sub-district offices, six communities, ten regiments and 130 units stationed in the city. The Tarim University of the Corps is also situated in this city.  

The important natural resources of the city include solar heat, fresh water, apocynum, liquorice, juniper tamarisk, diversifolious poplar, grey poplar, subsequent diversifolious poplar woods, oleaster, sea buckthorn, broomrape, Cynomorium songaricum, plantain, Cirsium japonicum, dandelion, Xanthium sibiricum and yarkand hare etc.. There are such local speciality products as the cotton of the “Xinnong” brand, series of cotton seeds of the “Tarim River”, rice and crab of the “Tianshan Snow” brand and jujube of the “Damo (Desert)” brand. The cotton of the “Xinnong” brand has successively gained the title of “Top Ten Best Sold Brands Acknowledged in the Cotton Market of China”, gold award of the 14th and 16th China Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair, gold award of the exported products and the title of the Third “Xinjiang Famous Trademarks”. The series of cotton seeds of the “Tarim River” have successively gained the titles of the Third “Xinjiang Famous Trademarks” and “China Famous Brands”.

The main tourist attractions in Alar are the NO.359 Force’s Reclamation Commemorative Museum rated as a national classic red tourist attraction and national AAAA tourist area, Xianglong Lake Ecological Tourist Area rated as national AAA tourist area, and “Silver Sand Bay” Holiday Village at Duolang Lake, Tarim.          

Tiemenguan City

Tiemenguan City of the Second Division of the Corps is located in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, the largest prefecture in China, at the northern edge of Takla Makan Desert, adjacent to Tianshan Mountains in the north and Kunlun Mountains in the south. About 50 km away from Korla, a city of military importance in south Xinjiang, Tiemenguan has under it four major explored areas, namely Yanqi, Korla, Tarim and Qieruo. With a total population of 200,000, it has a total administrative area of 590.27 square km.

The total land area in the city reaches 699,000 hectares, including 414,300 hectares for agricultural use. There are characteristic bases of farm produce such as cotton, fragrant pear, red deer and meat goose. It boasts a rich reserve of high-grade coal and other mineral resources such as asbestos, sylvite and vermiculite. The wild animals found in the city are red deer, muskrat, boar, yarkand hare, long-eared hedgehog, pochard, terek sandpiper, solitary snipe, black-winged stilt and herring gull and so on. The plants include diversifolious poplar, juniper tamarisk, oleaster, common salt tree, blackthorn, nitraria, saxaul, Xinjiang poplar, reed, Poacynum hendersonii, Glycyrrhiza inflate, Alhagi sparsifolia and ephedrae. There are such famous local products as “2+8” fragrant pear, cotton yarn of the “Shenlu (Divine Deer)” brand and deer products of the “Xinlu” brand.

Tiemenguan is the youngest city in the People’s Republic of China. The main tourist areas adjacent to it include the Bosten Lake, the largest inland freshwater lake in China; Takla Makan Desert, the second largest desert in the world; Tarim River wandering through the diversifolious poplar woods, the second largest inland river in the world; and the southern and central routes of the ancient Silk Road traversing the reclaimed areas under Tiemenguan, leaving the old sites of Loulan, Yixun, Niya etc. to this day.

Tumshuq City

Tumshuq City of the Third Division of the Corps is situated to the northwest of Tarim Basin and at the edge of Takla Makan Desert. The total administrative area of the city is 1,901 square km, including an urban area of 106.7 square km in the immediate and long-range plans. With a total population of 141,000, it exercises jurisdiction over five regiments and more than ten enterprises and institutions.

The city boasts abundant sunshine and heat, with 2,855 hours of sunshine, 225 frost-free days and a precipitation of 38.3 mm on average annually. Such a climate is favorable for the production of cotton and fruits. It also has 7,340 hectares of arable land, 5,000 hectares of land to be utilized, 1,380 hectares of subsequent diversifolious poplar woods, 3,150 hectares of wild liquorice and 5,600 hectares of windbreaks. Moreover, there is a large stretch of natural meadow and such Chinese medicinal materials as wild ephedrae, apocynum, broomrape, Sophora alopecuroides Linn and Capparis spinosa.

The major tourist attractions in the city include the site of the town of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Buddhist site, Manichean site, one-thousand-years-old tombs, ancient castle on the desert, West Bay Holiday Village, Diversifolious Poplar Holiday Village, Crescent Bay Holiday Village, Small Jade Pool, Strange Stone Ditch, Fossil Ditch, millenarian-old diversifolious poplars, small road on the desert and long corridor of diversifolious poplars.                    

Shuanghe City

Shuanghe City is located in Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang, bounded by the Republic of Kazakhstan. The seat of the municipal government is 30 km from Bole City in the west, 50 km from Alashankou Port in the northeast, 11 km from the airport and 25 km from the railway station. It is a new city in the economic zone of the Silk Road and will form a “golden triangle” of the regional economy with Bole City and Alashankou City and a city group along the frontier.

The total planned administrative area is 742.18 square km. With a total population of 53,800, the city exercises jurisdiction over the 81, 84, 85, 86, 89 and 90 regiments and has public security and judicial organs as well as financial, communication and postal institutions, and so on. It has complete social functions in health care, education and culture, etc.

Rich in resources, the city has huge development potential. The industrial bases of high-quality cotton, red grape, tomato for catsup, cooking oil, seeds and chrysanthemum for pigments, etc., have taken shape initially. The Jingchu Industrial Park has 55 projects under construction, contract or negotiation, with a total planned investment of 16.3 billion Yuan. Shuanghe will be built into an important door of the Corps, Xinjiang and even the lands to the west. It is another successful practice in transforming the Corps’ function from opening up wasteland to building cities and garrisoning the frontiers. It will be a green, livable and harmonious city and a hot place for investment and business.

It lies in the Bole region, with a beautiful environment. There is the famous Sayram Lake, Ebinur Lake and Sharcini Grassland. Shuanghe is about 48 km from the huge Strange Rocks Valley on the Sino-Kazakhstan border in the northeast. The valley covers 230 square km, the rocks in different shapes showing the unique charm of nature. Shuanghe is also adjacent to Alashankou Port, bridgehead of the Eurasian Continental Bridge. The port handles over 10 million tons of goods annually. It is a national first-class port with access to air transport, railways, highways and pipelines, the largest one in Western China and the only one in Xinjiang.

The Fifth Division orientates the city as a door of Western China, a new city guarding the frontiers, a livable city and a focus for incoming business. Great efforts are being made to build Shuanghe into the spearhead of the Corps opening to the West and a portal city radiating in Central Asia. It will be a regional commercial and logistics center, an import and export manufacture base, a modern agriculture demonstration zone and an eco-tourism destination. The main attractions are the industrial, cultural and service center, the important new industrial base, ecological agriculture demonstration base and a livable city with unique charm of army-reclamation culture, and a key belt to promote the integration and coordinated development of the army and the local area.

Wujiaqu City

Wujiaqu City of the Sixth Division of the Corps is located at the northern foothills of the eastern section of the Tianshan Mountains and the southern edge of Junggar Basin, about 32 km from Urumchi City in the south, 18 km from Miquan City in the southeast and 28 km from Changji City in the southwest. It has a total area of 711 square km, including a planned urban area of 25 square km. With a total population of 93,000, it exercises jurisdiction over three regiments, three urban sub-district offices and one industrial park. The Party School of the CPC committee and the Administration Institute of the Corps are situated in the city.

The city boasts 5,200 hectares of water area, 153 million cubic meters of exploitable groundwater, 32,700 hectares of natural wild vegetation and 53,000 hectares of arable land, including 25,900 hectares suitable for agriculture. There are such mineral resources as mirabilite, natural gas and ganister sand and such wild animals as goitered gazelle, hare, fox and sandgrouse. The wild medicinal plants include liquorice, asafetida, broomrape, Cynomorium songaricum and rhubarb. Teeming with fruits and vegetables, the city has a national-level pollution-free agricultural production base. The lint of Junggar brand, beverage of Great Grassland brand and ketchup are famous local products of the city.

The main tourist areas in the city include Wujiaqu Qinggeda Lake, Wujiaqu Riverside Zonal Park, Agricultural Science and Technology Park and Gurbantünggüt Desert. Of them, Qinggeda Lake Scenic Area is rated as a national-level water resources scenic and historic area, AAAA-class tourist area, provincial-level wetland nature reserve and national youth green homestead demonstration site.

Shihezi City

Shihezi City of the Eighth Division of the Corps is located at the northern foothills of the Tianshan Mountains and the southern fringe of Junggar Basin, with its downtown about 150 km away from Urumqi. It has a total administrative area of 460 square km and a total population of 335,000, with one village, one township and five offices under its jurisdiction. The national-level Shihezi Economic and Technological Development Zone and Agricultural High-tech Park of the Corps, Shihezi University, Xinjiang Academy of Agriculture and Reclamation Sciences and other institutions of higher learning and scientific research institutes are established in the city. Shihezi has successively won the Award for Good Practices to Improve the Living Environment conferred by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, Dubai International Award for Good Practices to Improve the Living Environment and the titles of National Hygienic City, National Garden City, National Forest City, National Excellent Tourist City and National Civilized City.

Known as “a shining pearl in the Gobi Desert”, Shihezi has typical temperate continental climate and rich water resources. A total of five rivers traverse in the territory of the city; they are Manas River, Ningjia River, Jingou River, Danangou River and Bayingou River. It is home to a variety of wild animals and plants. There are over 40 kinds of birds and beasts such as eagle, wild goose, swan, pied magpie, deer, Mongolian gazelle and fox and 567 kinds of wild grazing, of which, 140-odd kinds can be used for medicine. Such arbors as poplar, willow, elm and pewter are often seen there, so are such frutices as saxaul, juniper tamarisk and oleaster.

The main tourist attractions in the city include the Army Reclamation Museum, Memorial Hall of Premier Zhou Enlai, Tuoling Mengpo Desert Park, Shihezi North Lake Tourist Area, Bayin Mountain Villa, Diversifolious Poplar Forest Park, First Company of Army Reclamation, General Mountain Army-reclamation Cultural Tourist Area, Shihezi High-tech Agricultural Demonstration Park and Shihezi South Mountain Scenic Area.  

Beitun City

Beitun City of the Tenth Division of the Corps is located at the southern foothills of Altai Mountain and the northern brim of Junggar Basin, bounded by Kazakstan in the west, Russia in the north and Mongolia in the east. It is about 580 km away from Urumchi and 40 km from Altai Airport. It covers a total area of 522.12 square km and has a total population of 76,300.

The Nos.318 and 319 Provincial Highways, No.216 National Highway, Kuitun-Ataile Freeway and Kuitun-Beitun Railway which links the city with the hinterland ramify across the city. There are also five national first-class and second-class land-way ports linking with Jimunai, Aheitubaike, Kanas, Hongshanzui and Takeshiken respectively. The city is the important logistics distributing centre and export commodities trade and processing area in north Xinjiang and the future key agricultural and sideline products processing and trade base and trading markets of mechanical and electric equipment, aquatic products, building materials, goods for daily use and farming materials in the region around Altai. It is the railway hub linking China with central and west Asia and Europe and a central city in the foreign trade region.

Beitun abounds in water, land, sunshine and other resources, with great development potential. Two major water systems—Irtysh River and Ulungur River pass through the city and another 58 rivers of various sizes are also found in it, with 12,600 hectares of water surface for aquaculture. There are over 30 kinds of fish, including such rare ones as northern pike, perch, burbot and Abramis brama orientalis Berg. A total of 86 kinds of mineral resources in 11 categories are found in the city. Of them, the reserves of beryllium, muscovite and potassium feldspar rank first in China and those of gold, copper, nickel and high-quality bentonite take the lead in Xinjiang. Its self-cultivated Altai fine-wool mutton sheep is well-known both in and outside the autonomous region for its fast growth and fat and tasty meat. The breeding of rare animals such as silver fox and blue fox as well as poultry has good prospects.

Beitun is adjacent to the famous Kanas Lake Scenic Area. In the city, there is Dingshan Mountain Botanical Garden with the title “Genghis Khan’s Platform for Appointing Commanders”, such natural scenic spots as South Lake, Buluntuohai Lake Park, Baisha lake, Echoing-Sand Mountain, Red Leaves Woods and Valley of Irtysh River and such red tourist spots as Monument to No.185 Regiment for Its Fighting Flood and Garrisoning Frontiers, Observation Tower for Frontier Defence, No.1 Company in Northwest Frontiers, State Gate, mere stone, ports and Memorial Hall for Cultivation and Guard of Frontier Areas.

New-type Industry

Based itself on three major advantages of abundant agricultural resources in Xinjiang, rich mineral products in and around the region and the location at the front of the western development, the Corps, with market as the orientation, the cities and industrial clusters of the Corps as the carrier, and the target of improving the competitiveness and tamping the material foundation for cultivating and guarding frontier areas, promotes the convergency of advantageous resources to advantageous industries, advantageous productive factors to advantageous enterprises, advantageous products to advantageous brands and advantageous enterprises to key industrial parks, builds a modern industrial system characterized by optimized structure, advanced technologies, clean and safe environment, high added value and strong ability in increasing jobs and forms a development pattern under which the supernormal industrial development brings along the overall development of the three major industries, industrial parks get industries together and large enterprises and groups lead the industrial upgrade. The Corps vigorously promotes the combination, merger and reorganization of the industrial enterprises under different divisions or with different ownership as well as the integration of the mining, electricity, coal, sugar and dairy product industries, and so on, to foster a number of highly competitive large enterprise groups. It is accelerating the use of advanced and applicable technologies to transform traditional industries, emphatically supports the transformation and upgrading of the characteristic agricultural products processing, mineral resources processing and modern equipment manufacturing industries, and is working to improve their deep processing ability and technical level. Great efforts are being made to promote the organic integration of the productive service industry and new industrialization and agricultural modernization, especially in bringing into play the role of the service sector in driving economic growth and increasing jobs. The Corps focuses on developing a modern logistics industry, strengthening the commercial circulation industry, accelerating the development of tourism and actively developing community services to provide convenient, affordable and high-quality services for all. In 2013, the industrial added value reached 42.6 billion Yuan, up 26.5 percent. The industrial share in GDP reached to 42.1 percent. Meanwhile, the production capacities and outputs of main industrial products of the Corps rose significantly, among which output of tomato ketchup exceeded 1.3 million tons, the number of knitting spindles reached 2.5 million, the output of cement, hard coke and coal reached 17 million tons, 3.2 million tons, and over 10 million tons respectively and the installed capacity of electricity exceeded 3.3 million kWh. The output of such products as equipment for water-saving irrigation and tomato products lead the country.

Developing the Pillar Industries

The Corps has advanced the industrial system with the agricultural products processing and basic raw material industry as the principal part and the energy industry as supplementation to promote the formation of a green, circulating and low-carbon industrial chain. It emphatically develops the pillar industries in food, medicine, textiles, garments, oil and gas exploitation, chlorinate alkali chemical and coal chemical engineering, and is also fostering and strengthening the oil and natural gas chemical engineering, new-type building materials and equipment manufacturing sectors. A number of famous enterprises have been introduced, such as Master Kang Group, Wahaha Group, Want Want Group, Yanjing Beer Group, Yinqiao Dairy Group, Huafang Group, Feilong Group and Xiongfeng Group. Investment has been made to build a group of key projects. The Corps has formed a chlorinate alkali chemical industrial chain led by Xinjiang Tianye Chemical Co., Ltd., coal chemical industrial chain led by Xinjiang Dahuangshan Hongji Coking and Chemical Co., Ltd., red industry represented by Xinjiang Zhongji Tomato Products Co., Ltd., two leading cement enterprises, i.e. Qingsong and Nangang, and the grease group led by Xinsai. The ketchup, plastics and polyvinyl chloride can be produced there now. The dairy products with health protection function and frozen and fresh cut meat are favored by the customers. The gross of the farming-oriented equipment industry, driven by the fine-seeding machine and harvesting machine, increases year after year. The Tianye water-saving equipment production technology with self-owned intellectual property leads the country.

Building A Development Platform

In the light of the principle of “reasonable layout, intensive utilization of land and industrial cluster” and relying on the cities of the Corps, central towns in the explored areas and frontier ports, the Corps is now building various industrial clusters. It is actively promoting the construction of Shihezi Economic and Technological Development Zone at the national level, accelerating construction of the national-level Alar and Wujiaqu Development Areas and the branches of Kashgar and Horgos Special Economic Development Zones in the Corps, and enthusiastically supports the development of its existing industrial parks at the national, autonomous region and corps levels. At present, there are 29 various kinds of development areas, including five at national level, three at the autonomous region level and 21 at Corps level. Great efforts are made to constantly improve the hard environment of the development areas through strengthening the construction of the facilities in road, water supply and sewerage, heat supply, power supply and sewage and waste treatment. The soft environment of the development areas is also improved through making their managerial functions sound, fulfilling their policies and constantly enhancing their function in coordination and service. More and more famous domestic and international enterprises have been attracted to settle in the Corps, including Taiwan Ting Hisin International Group, Want Want Group, Yuanfu Textiles, Kah Hoe Textiles from Indonesia, Ajlan Brothers Company from Saudi Arabia, Wahaha Group, Xiongfeng Group, Hisun Group, Zhongsheng Textiles and Wuzhouxing Group from Zhejiang, Yili Group from Inner Mongolia, Jinmailang Group from Hebei, Yanjing Beer Group from Beijing, Changyu Group from Shandong and Huafang Group from Jiangsu. For the first time, the Corps is cooperating with Central Government-directly-owned enterprises in exploiting oil and gas resources, involving the introduction funds exceeding 110 billion Yuan.

Highlighting the Development Advantages

In the new period, the Corps lays stress on the development of the pillar industries in food, medicine, textiles, garments and chlorinate alkali chemical and coal chemical engineering, fosters and strengthens the industries of oil and natural gas chemical engineering, new-type building materials and equipment manufacturing and focuses on building the two major bases of deep processing of advantageous agricultural products and conversion of mineral resources, making industry lead the leapfrog development of the Corps. Relying on the characteristic agricultural and sideline products production bases, the Corps guides the leading enterprises to gather at the industrial parks and advantaged regiments, builds six characteristic deep processing bases of farm and stockbreeding products, i.e. fruits and vegetables, wine making, grain, oil and forage, dairy and meat products, sugar making and biological products, integrates and improves the processing industries of traditional Chinese medicine, sugar, tomato and grease and constructs important green, high-quality and characteristic food and medicine processing and export bases in west China. Dependent on the advantages of Xinjiang and the Corps in cotton resource, the Corps actively accepts the transfer of textile industry from the eastern regions, promotes the convergence of cotton textile production capacities to the advantageous enterprises and major cotton producing areas and builds nationally important high-quality cotton yarn, cloth, textile and garment processing and export bases relying on the hinterland and facing the central Asia. Dependent on the coal resources in Zhundong, Tuha, Ili and Kubai and in the light of circular economic development model and conditions of resource allocation, the Corps utilizes new technologies to accelerate the development of chlorinate alkali chemical industry and builds an important coal chemical production base in the west region and a nationally important chlorinate alkali chemical production base. Relying on the resource-rich areas in and around it, the Corps promotes the development of high energy-consumption industries in nonferrous metals such as copper, nickel and lead, ferrous metals and polysilicon and builds important characteristic mineral resources processing and conversion bases in Xinjiang. With the unique advantages of Xinjiang in resources, the Corps centers on strengthening the industrial competitiveness and fostering new points for economic growth and builds important oil and natural gas chemical industrial bases in northwest China and key new building materials production and export bases in Xinjiang.

Modern Agriculture

According to the policy of “stabilized grain, superior cotton, increasing fruit and livestock” and the target of constructing national demonstration bases of water-saving irrigation, promotion bases of agricultural mechanization and demonstration bases of modern agriculture, the Corps vigorously pushes forward the agricultural restructuring, transforms the agricultural development mode, enhances the competitiveness of agricultural products and promotes industrialized operation of agriculture. It actively develops facility agriculture and recreational agriculture and reinforces distinctive agriculture with relative advantages, having built a group of agricultural industrial bases with certain scale and class. It energetically promotes industrialized operation of agriculture and encourages and supports the leading enterprises to integrate resources in the whole Xinjiang by virtue of capitals and brands. The Corps is actively exploring the realization form of a large-scale socialized agricultural operation system and energetically fosters new-type business entities such as cooperative organizations of staff members and corporate groups to improve the scale, specialization and level of intensity. It is continuously increasing the support to the key leading enterprises, enhancing the level of industrial management of agriculture, and raising the agricultural product-processing rate. It is steadily promoting the construction of modern agriculture demonstration areas. Great efforts are being made to strengthen the construction of the agricultural infrastructure and raise the level of equipment and technological research, development and popularization. A water-saving irrigation base that is the largest in the country has been completed and the high-tech irrigation covers an area of over 13 million mu (mu: one-fifteenth of a hectare), making it the largest water-saving irrigation area in the country. The precision and semi-precision sowing area of crops exceeds 12 million mu and the area under formulated fertilization by soil testing surpasses 10 million mu, to lead the country. The gross power of agricultural machinery exceeds 4.4 million kW and the agricultural comprehensive mechanization rate has reached 92 percent, top in the country.

Taking adjustment of the internal structure of agriculture as a breakthrough, the Corps has constructed a high-quality cotton base and implemented projects for increasing animal husbandry output in multiples and improving the horticulture industry, so as to vigorously develop the characteristic horticulture and modern animal husbandry industry. As a result, the regional distribution of agricultural products is more reasonable, the regional advantages of cotton more prominent and the characteristic dried and fresh fruits production and large-scale breeding are developing rapidly. The total output of grain, gin cotton, fruit and meat surpass 2.06 million, 1.46 million, 2.18 million, and over 330,000 tons respectively. The per unit area yield, quality, commodity supply volume, take-out quantity, per-capita share and mechanization rate of cotton all rank first in China. The planting of distinctive agricultural products enjoys an increasing scale, such as lavender, red dates, cantaloup, grape, fragrant pear, and walnut, among which Korla fragrant pears and cantaloups are sold into overseas markets. The production and export volume of tomato ketchup rank among the top in the country, making the Corps the largest base of tomato production and processing in Asia at present. The planting and processing of lavender also takes a leading position in Xinjiang. Over 100 agricultural products have won the well-known brands or famous trademarks in China and Xinjiang.

National Demonstration Bases of Water-saving Irrigation

Most regiments of the Corps are situated at the edges of deserts and along the frontiers, quite lacking in water resources. Therefore, developing water-saving irrigation is the only way to realize sustainable agricultural development of the Corps. Since the 1980s, the Corps has promoted the wide use of sprinkler irrigation technique in the regiments lacking in water, saving 30 percent of water. Meanwhile, the Corps tried to adopt trickle irrigation technique on large acreage of arable land and made a hit in 1998. Then, the trickle irrigation technique was quickly popularized in the explored areas, covering 666,666.67 million hectares in a decade. Completely different from the traditional extensive irrigation through dykes, the mulch trickle irrigation technique makes water drip through a hole directly to the root of crop, with the water consumption only 60 percent of that in conventional irrigation. During the period, Tianye Group of the Corps independently developed the cheap practical drip irrigation belt and there was also gravitational flexible hose for micro-irrigation developed by the Corps, greatly reducing the average input in equipment per mu. As a result, the trickle irrigation technique became popular among ordinary farmers, taking the lead in the country. The trickle irrigation technique was first used in the planting of cash crops such as cotton and tomato and gradually popularized in the planting of such crops as grain, oil-bearing crops, sugar, fruits and vegetables. At present, the high-tech water-saving irrigation covered 866,666.67 million hectares, accounting for over 70 percent of the total area of irrigated land. Over one billion cubic meters of water is saved annually. The popularization of new-type irrigation technology has led to the transformation of agricultural production mode: the channels in the fields have been eliminated, saving 5 percent to 7 percent of arable land; the irrigation is controlled with gate valves, making the per-capita management quota increase by many folds; and the environment for crops’ growth has been improved, bringing about an output increase of 20 percent or so.

Promotion Bases of Agricultural Mechanization

Agricultural mechanization is a distinct mark of the Corps’ macro agriculture. On the principle of reasonable structure, optimized service, balanced development and stress on key points, the Corps, with the target of increasing the intensive degree, scale and labour productivity and the emphasis on realization of whole-course mechanization in cotton production, the Corps accelerates the steps of agricultural mechanization. In particular since the implementation of the strategy for the development of the western regions, the total number of agricultural machines of the Corps has increased steadily, the equipment structure has been optimized increasingly and the agricultural comprehensive mechanization rate has been constantly raised. In 2013, the gross power of agricultural machinery of the Corps exceeded 4.45 million kw and the agricultural comprehensive mechanization rate surpassed 92 percent, ranking top in China. The mechanic harvesting of cotton covered an area of 366,666.67 hectares, with some 1,000 cotton pickers. The popularization of agricultural mechanization represented by mechanic harvesting of cotton brought along the wide application of machinery in the harvesting of sugar beet, tomato, corn and characteristic crops. Meanwhile, the construction of service system of agricultural mechanization implementation with stress on construction of demonstration bases in standardized agricultural mechanization in reservoir areas is steadily pushed forward, promoting the agricultural mechanization service areas to develop towards the standardized direction of integrating the functions of centralized placement, servicing, training and supply of parts.

Modern Agricultural Demonstration Bases

Though the cotton covered area of the Corps only accounts for less than 40 percent of the total in Xinjiang and only 9 percent of the total in China, its cotton output makes up half of that of Xinjiang and one sixth of that of the whole country. It has ranked first among the cotton producing areas in the country consecutively. This benefits from the extended application of agricultural science and technology and modern agricultural technology. The Corps has adhered to taking water-saving irrigation and agricultural mechanization as the breakthrough and organized the agricultural production and management with the modern agricultural production mode, high-end science and technology and enterprise’s management mode to guarantee the effective supply of agricultural products and ecological safety. Great efforts have been made to promote the agricultural industrialization. There are over 600 enterprises in agricultural industrialization at all levels, with the total sales revenue reaching 5.5 billion Yuan; of them, 15 enterprises are at the national level and 65 ones at the Corps’ level. The regional distribution of advantageous agricultural products has been constantly optimized. The high-yield cotton areas in the north of the Tianshan Mountain and south Xinjiang has been further consolidated; the industrial belts of characteristic fruits such as grapes in north Xinjiang and red dates in south Xinjiang have taken initial shape; and the high-quality milk source bases in the north of the Tianshan Mountain and south Xinjiang and the livestock product bases in south Xinjiang and reclaimed areas in the frontiers and hinterland of Xinjiang have expanded rapidly. The construction of modern agricultural demonstration areas has been steadily boosted, driving the agricultural development towards multi-functional integration in intensive production, sci-tech demonstration, leisure and sightseeing and popularization of science. Over 150 new-type specialized cooperative organizations of various kinds and industrial associations of agricultural products have been established and the mechanism of linking the leading enterprises with the bases and benefits of employees has taken shape initially. The precision agricultural technologies featuring “precise seed selection, precise sowing, precise fertilizing, precise irrigating, precise ecological monitoring in fields and precise harvesting” have been adopted in over 666,666.67 hectares of land, leading the country. Some of them have achieved the international advanced level.