China's Xinjiang sets up third prefecture-level city

URUMQI, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese central government has approved the establishment of a third prefecture-level city in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said a senior regional official on Sunday.

Upgrading Turpan from prefecture to city is conducive to improving urban construction and management and boosting local development, said Shohrat Zakir, chairman of the Xinjiang regional government.

According to law, the new city's lawmakers, political advisors and Communist Party of China committee will be reelected, he said.

Turpan, 180 km east of Urumqi, the regional capital, becomes the third prefecture-level city after Urumqi and Karamay. Turpan is famous for grape prdouction as well as dry and hot weather.

Turpan has a total population of about 640,000 and its gross domestic product was more than 26 billion yuan (4.2 billion U.S. dollars) last year.

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