China formally put the socialistic market economy system into practice in 1992. Due to the influence of market transition, China government brought in the market mechanism. As a result, everything is particular about competitiveness, productivity, efficiency, and the control of investment risk. In addition, it also focused on appropriate economic growth rate, the increase of life quality, environmental protection, industrial and economic vitality, proper distribution of resources and capitals, and the rationalization of production and investment.
In November 2000, to draw much more investments and speed up the development of the western region, the Chinese State Council proposed the policy of four sides, namely, raising the capital investment, improving of the investment environment, lifting restrictions, and investing human resources. China entered into the World Trade Organization (WTO) on November 11, 2001, and faced the challenges resulted from economic globalization. Therefore, in addition to the capital investment from the Government, the policies on the development of the western region included other factors such as drawing foreign investment, and via the market mechanism, to make the regional development more competitive. Therefore, the present study was aimed to investigate the achievements of the Great Leap West (GLW) policy from the economic perspective by analyzing the data from the China Statistical Year Book and China Economic Year Book, the amount of direct investment at the western region by foreign companies from 2000 to 2005, the average income of the residents in the western region, and the data of the major economic industries at the western region.
Results show that due to such benefits as the state capital and preferential policy, the amount of direct investment by foreign companies in the western provinces, except Tibet, does significantly increase every year. For example, at 2005, the amount of direct investment by foreign companies was 2.5 times higher than that before the development. Also, great strides are made in the income of the residents in the western region each year; the living standard, at 2005, was 1.5 times better as well in comparison with that before the development. Therefore, under the guidance of the world economic system, China government must play a more flexible and multiple role in tapping the western region. It also needs to place great emphasis upon human concerns, and the basic goal of the GLW policy should be the enrichment of the residents. To raise the interests of the domestic, foreign non-governmental organizations in tapping the western region, China government needs technology innovation and system innovation as a breakthrough in this policy. Based on the innovations, the authorities should adopt measures suiting local conditions, give guidance to subsets accordingly, seek out key points and make them implemented progressively, follow the objective regular pattern of market economy, make the function of adoption and controlling by the government and market into full play, and make use of the influence of the government capitals and market system. By doing so, the western region is expected to have a stable, lasting economic development. In the long run, it will come to the fulfillment of a prosperous, promising, improving, stable, united, and wealthy western region.