Over the past decade, the average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in central Chinese provinces increased fivefold. After the “Rise of Central China” plan — intended to develop inland industry and infrastructure and eventually develop an inland consumer base — was inaugurated in 2004, every central province’s economy experienced double-digit growth per year (often higher than 20 percent), with the exception 2009, when the fallout from the global recession briefly brought China’s economy to a halt. Inland China’s rising overall GDP and GDP per capita testify to Beijing’s at least partial success in modernizing and connecting the region to the national economy. Nonetheless, growth within the region remains uneven, and despite progress, the average GDP per capita still lags significantly behind coastal provinces. In 2011, average GDP per capita along the coast reached 52,838 yuan (roughly $8,300), 44 percent higher than in inland provinces.
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