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China aims to build Xinjiang's capital into int'l trade center

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URUMQI, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi will be built into a "core city" in west China and an "international trade center" of central and west Asia by 2020, local authorities have announced.

The goal was set in an urban development blueprint for Urumqi during the 2011-2020 period, unveiled Tuesday after three years of study.

To achieve this goal, local authorities will build faster and more convenient transportation networks to strengthen links between Urumqi and inland Chinese regions as well as areas in central and west Asia, according to the blueprint.

Local authorities will build a new railway line linking Urumqi with Lanzhou, enlarge the current Urumqi railway station, and build a new airport terminal during the next 10 years, the blueprint said.

Local authorities are also mulling over the construction of a second airport in the city.

Greater efforts have been made to boost the development of the far western ethnic region of Xinjiang after a deadly riot rocked Urumqi in 2009 and left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured.

Jerla Isamudinhe, mayor of Urumqi, has announced that the city's gross domestic product will grow by 12.2 percent to reach 131.1 billion yuan (19.86 billion U.S. dollars) this year.

The city's GDP target was set at 420 billion yuan for 2020, according to the development blueprint.

The city's population will increase to 5 million by 2020 from the current 2.5 million, the blueprint said.

Local authorities are also planning two new districts in the city, which will be built with world-class standards.

A group of domestic and overseas designing firms have been invited to bid for the design of the new districts.

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