General information about Western China
The western part of China is home to one-third of the country's administrative provinces and autonomous regions. It covers an area of 5.4 million square meters and has a combined population of over 280 million, making up 56 percent and 23 percent of the national total respectively. The region used to be described as "barren, remote, poor, large, valuable and beautiful." It lacks transportation facilities, and lacks behind other parts of the country in terms of development and economy. The GNP per capita here accounts for just half of the average national level. But the west boasts vast stretches of land, abundant resources and beautiful scenery.