Cap­i­tal way to re­duce the pres­sure on the cen­ter

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - ZHENG XIANGDONG Con­tact the writer at du­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Zheng Xiangdong, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee of the Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Prop­erty Expo

Q: Why it is im­por­tant that the mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment of­fices and af­fil­i­ated in­sti­tu­tions are moved out of the city cen­ter?

Z: The city’s nat­u­ral re­sources are lim­ited. For in­stance, Bei­jing is still short of wa­ter even though the coun­try has been di­vert­ing wa­ter from the south to the north for years. With the rapid de­vel­op­ment of the city, more and more peo­ple are at­tracted to it, which has put se­vere pres­sure on the city. Thus, it’s ur­gent to move some non-core func­tions from Bei­jing to other ar­eas to re­lieve the pres­sure on the cen­ter. In the fu­ture, Bei­jing will be the coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal, cul­tural, in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion and tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion cen­ter. Other func­tions will be moved.

Q: What should the govern­ment do to bet­ter man­age the city func­tions?

Z: On one hand, the govern­ment needs to at­tract high­end in­dus­tries and tal­ent, which means it has to pro­vide high-qual­ity pub­lic ser­vices for them. On the other hand, low-end busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties such as the cloth­ing trad­ing cen­ter and the dog mar­ket, which oc­cupy large ar­eas of land for lit­tle re­turns to the city, can be re­lo­cated to other places.

Q: What ob­sta­cles might the city face dur­ing the trans­fer of func­tions?

Z: Are­al­is­tic prob­lem is re­lo­ca­tion of busi­nesses such as the clothes traders and the dog ven­dors, which are re­quired to move. Many of the peo­ple in those non-core in­dus­tries are not lo­cal Bei­jing peo­ple, so the re­lated govern­ment de­part­ments should adopt rea­son­able mea­sures to help them trans­fer their busi­nesses else­where. In par­tic­u­lar, the e-com­merce in­dus­try is grow­ing rapidly in China and the au­thor­i­ties can en­cour­age those small busi­ness own­ers to con­tinue their busi­nesses on­line.

Q: How will res­i­dents suf­fer the pain caused by the city’s trans­for­ma­tion?

Z: We need a change of per­spec­tive on this is­sue. The city’s trans­for­ma­tion is a must and will pro­duce long-term ben­e­fits. Both the city govern­ment and small busi­ness own­ers will lose money when the low-end in­dus­tries re­move to other places for a short pe­riod. How­ever, it pro­vides chances for both the city and those peo­ple to get in­volved in the high-end in­dus­tries if they can find their way. There will be short-term pain for long-term gain.

ZHOU XIAO FOR CHINA DAILY

Of­fice build­ings un­der con­struc­tion in Tongzhou.

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