“Yangtze River economic belt”
Adevelopment plan for the Yangtze River economic belt was adopted on March 25, 2016 by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and issued in September to the 11 municipalities and provinces (Anhui, Chongqing, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Zhejiang) crossed or bordered by the Yangtze River, the longest river in China for implementation. The strategic decision by the central leadership to boost the development of this area represents a new move as part of its overall strategic planning in response to China’s new normal of economic growth. It takes into account not only immediate imperatives but also long-term needs. The plan aims to achieve by 2020: – significant enhancement of ecological protection along the waterway, and effective protection and rational use of water resources;
– effective removal of barriers, obstacles, and bottlenecks that hamper the flow of traffic on the Yangtze River, thereby upgrading the river’s carrying capacity;
– substantive progress in implementing innovation initiatives, leading to the emergence of a number of world-class enterprises and business clusters and a greatly improved competitiveness on the world stage;
– further opening up of coastal and inland areas in tandem with moves to go global by land and by sea, as an integral part of the Belt and Road Initiative;
– increased integration and coordination that better ensure sustainability of development efforts;
– substantial headway in key fields of reform, to build a well-coordinated and efficient Yangtze basin management system, and a modern, integrated open market ; and
– higher levels of overall economic development, with a special focus on quality and efficiency, thus providing strategic support for economic and social development nationwide.
The objectives that the development plan is expected to achieve by 2030 include marked improvement in the overall aquatic environment and ecosystems, and ecological functions, improved traffic flow on the Yangtze River, the creation of an innovative modern interface for business activities along the Yangtze River, and better economic integration in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the river. The plan is also designed to create a cleaner environment, more economic dynamism and greater prosperity. The Yangtze River Basin can thus be in a better position to serve as a leading role in and provide strategic support for national economic and social development.