The Great Development of the West is no more than grand conferences held in the west (Xibu Dakaifa zhishi xibu dakaihui).
—State Council officials in charge of developing the west
On the surface, the Great Development of the West (GDW, Xibu Dakaifa) campaign seems like a classic maneuver by a developmental state to bolster the growth of an underdeveloped region. Even in 2002, GDP per capita in western China, which includes the provinces of Xinjiang, Tibet, Ningxia, Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Chongqing, Qinghai, Yunnan, and Guizhou, remained at U.S.$666, or just more than half of the national average (see Table 1). The poorest province in China, Guizhou, had a GDP per capita of only U.S.$375, roughly equivalent to Haiti's GDP per capita in 1999. The effort to develop western China, according to the official rhetoric, was aimed at shifting western China's developmental trajectory closer to that of the rest of China, thus decreasing regional inequality and bolstering overall growth.