This paper examines the widening gap in economic development between China’s Eastern region and its Central and Western regions since the beginning of economic reforms in 1978. Relevant statistics have been carefully gathered to provide indicators demonstrating regional differences. The factors contributing to the regional disparities in China are identified, and then analyzed in the context of the Chinese government’s policy guidelines on reducing regional disparities. The Chinese leadership has been providing increasing financial support and directing investment to the Central and Western regions, and the latter are expected to benefit from further economic reforms. However regional disparities can only be realistically controlled in the period 1996-2010, and should be gradually narrowed later in the next century.