Xinjiang is rich in natural resources including water, land, sunlight, and heat and has an abundance of utilizable pasture, totaling 467,000 square kilometers, one-fourth of China's total, making it one of the nation's five major grazing areas.
Xinjiang has 88.4 billion cubic meters of annual surface water runoff and 25.2 billion cubic meters of exploitable underground water. The exploitable water in Xinjiang is 90 billion cubic meters per year, and the water resources per person in Xinjiang is twice that of the country as a whole.
Today, Xinjiang has 32,000 square kilometers of arable land and 49,000 square kilometers of land reclaimable for farming. Xinjiang can be developed into the largest production base of marketable cotton in China and an important production base for grain, livestock, and sugar.
Xinjiang's rich reserves of minerals are widely dispersed over the region, and 134 varieties of mineral reserves have been discovered so far, with reserves of 76 minerals already proved. Of the proved reserves, 23 kinds are the largest in the five provinces and autonomous regions of northwest China and eight are the largest in the country. Oil, natural gas, and nonferrous metals represented by copper and gold are the most important minerals in Xinjiang. The prospective reserves of oil exceed 30 billion tons, and those of natural gas exceed 10,000 billion cubic meters, both accounting for one-third of the nation's totals. The natural resources per person in Xinjiang are twice the average of the nation as a whole.
(NEW STAR PUBLISHER: ENTERING WEST CHINA)